Manage increased communication with a narcissistic co-parent

Managing increased contact with narcissistic co-parents can be challenging, to say the least, but there are strategies to help manage forced increased communication. Navigate this time of change and avoid moments of high risk.  Here are some proven strategies to help:

Set clear boundaries: Establish and communicate clear boundaries with your co-parent. Clearly define expectations and limits regarding communication, decision-making, and interactions. Stick to these boundaries and consistently reinforce them. (Grey rock is the most powerful component of communication boundaries.  You might want to check out my Dealing with a Narcissistic Ex 3 Communication Tips)

Maintain parallel parenting: As you know,  parallel parenting is a strategy where each parent has a separate and independent role in the child’s life, minimizing direct contact and potential conflicts. Focus on ensuring the child’s needs are met while minimizing communication or engagement with the narcissistic co-parent. It’s a fine balance while consistently putting the child’s best interest at the forefront and having a narc ex “counter parenting” it can be relentless and tiring long term but it’s the only way through.  (For example, I had a male client share he was so sick for weeks he wanted to break the contact longevity and ask for assistance from his narc ex, through our time together we created a proactive plan for him with alternatives to breaking no contact. 

Communicate in writing: When dealing with a narcissistic co-parent, written communication can be helpful. Use email or text messages to document conversations, as this provides a record of interactions and reduces the likelihood of manipulation or gaslighting. Keep your communication concise, neutral, and focused on the child’s well-being. (Use the BIFF model of communication:  Brief, informative, friendly and firm) 

Focus on the child’s needs: Prioritize the best interests of your child in all decision-making. Maintain a child-centered approach and avoid getting entangled in power struggles or attempts to provoke a reaction. Keep your focus on providing a stable and supportive environment for your child.

Seek support: Dealing with a narcissistic co-parent can be emotionally draining. Reach out to friends, family, or support groups who can provide understanding, guidance, and emotional support. Consider seeking professional help, such as divorce coach, to help you cope with the challenges.  Begin creating your own unique self-care practice.  

Document incidents: If the narcissistic co-parent engages in harmful or inappropriate behavior, document these incidents, including dates, times, and descriptions of the events. This documentation can be valuable in legal proceedings or if you need to demonstrate a pattern of behavior to professionals involved in your case.  You can create a google doc or Excel spreadsheet that you complete weekly because like the late Queen Elizabeth said “Recollections may vary” and when emotionally flooded memories fade. 

When should you Involve other professionals If the behavior of the narcissistic co-parent becomes unmanageable or escalates to a level that affects the well-being of your child?  Your knee-jerk reaction might be to involve professionals such as mediators, therapists, or legal authorities if there is an incident that is clearly not healthy for your child.  Although you would think their involvement can provide guidance and their intervention will ensure the safety and best interests of your child are protected, that is not necessarily the case. So what should you do?  You are already keeping detailed documentation, including photos and videos attached, you have an attorney that is well versed in high-conflict narcissistic divorces and you are doing everything that you can to protect your children and yourselves; the right actions around emergency situations require calm calculated measures as I am sure you know, the narcissistic personality has a way of *DARVO and becoming the victim when he/she is the victimizer.  You will know when and how to engage other professionals within your situation.  

*DARVO refers to a reaction perpetrators of wrongdoing, may display in response to being held accountable for their behavior. DARVO stands for “Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender.”

PLEASE Remember, it’s important to take care of yourself and prioritize your own emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual well-being while managing increased contact with a narcissistic co-parent. Practice self-care, maintain a support network, and seek out a professional divorce coach and other professional’s help if needed.

You ARE not alone. Reach out for support and sign up for a complimentary initial coaching session.  You can also watch the Divorcing Intact One Day Event on my youtube channel.   Please share if you think someone else can benefit from this article.  

You might like to purchase my

Dealing with a Narcissistic Ex
Dealing with a Narcissistic Ex: 3 Communication Tips

Proven Communication Strategies:  First, you actually cannot co-parent with a high-conflict narcissist ex, and coming to peace with this is a journey of acceptance. The documentation and boundaries you place around communication are so important for you and your children’s well-being. You are parallel parenting with your narcissistic ex-partner and reminding yourself this is critical.

Grey Rock Communication Technique B.I.F.F Quick Responses to High Conflict People Weekly Communication Email Tool

TIP: ONLY Communicate when necessary

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