When you have to share custody, co-parenting can be tough! Here are some ways on how to protect your kids from your narcissist ex when co-parenting with them.
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I am Christy Jade, adoring wife, adoptive mama and narcissistic abuse survivor. I now help other women who have gone through abuse (or are going through it) find confidence, power and peace.
Speaker 1: (00:00)
One of the most important things when co-parenting with a narcissist is the obvious. You want to protect your children and it may be hard to protect them. A narcissist is not so fun and can manipulate, can drag them into it. There’s a lot of tough things. But stay tuned for four ways to protect your kids.
Speaker 1: (00:26)
Hey Queens, welcome to, but still she thrives. Do you wanna stop getting caught up in that wicked web of a creepy crawling narcissist? Do you find yourself up late at night replaying the abuse you put up with and wondering how you can heal now? Do you wake up hoping for healthy relationships and peace only to feel totally exhausted and mind effed? Girl, I see you. I’m Christy. I too had to disconnect from toxic people in my life and I wished I could undo the damage. I felt ashamed, lonely, and kind of lost. But I’m a stubborn Italian and I refused to give up. I found ways to recalibrate my mind and body more quickly than I thought and can now share them with you. In this podcast, you will find coping tools, healing methods, and confidence boosters so you can trust yourself and find peace and freedom. So, shields up ladies, let’s go protect our peace. Are you feeling lost after post narcissistic abuse? I’m your girl. I got you. This is my specialty. Go check out ways to work with me at www.christyjade.com. Click on work with me and find all fun ways you can work with me, whether it’s one-on-one coaching or a prerecorded boundaries course,
Speaker 1: (01:46)
You do have somewhat of a lack of control when you are co-parenting with a narcissist. So we have to focus on what you can control. Number one, talk to your child. And this is a very fine line, so I want you to be discerning when you are talking with your child. Um, it’s, you know, you’re trying to help them understand their other parent’s behavior. If it’s that bad that you feel the need to talk about it, make it age appropriate. Teach them that their parent’s behavior is about that parent. I can’t stress this enough and without totally trash talking, cuz we just talked about in the last last week’s episode, we don’t wanna trash talk the narcissist to our child. We don’t wanna involve in get in all the drama, right? If the child brings up something like, why doesn’t daddy X, Y, z? Why is mommy talk like this?
Speaker 1: (02:39)
Whatever The thing is that as they bring things up, it’s important to respond in a very factual, emotionless way and say, you know, not everyone has the kindness and not everyone has the compassion that you and I do. While they don’t have it, they do love you. They’re, you know, if it’s something about how they’re treating the child and if it’s abusive, obviously you wanna go to the authorities, but just, you know, if there’s a disconnect or if they’re dismissive of their feelings, things that they can’t lose custody over but can still sting, you can just say, you know, they may not have compassion the way that you and I do and it means nothing about you. It’s so important to let them know it has nothing to do with you and it’s a them problem, you know, so be, again, very careful walking that fine line of trash talking versus simply explaining in a logical, very simple kind of flat, emotionless way, which can be hard.
Speaker 1: (03:42)
So you might need to take a breath and say, you’ll explain later. If it’s in the middle of something or you’re having, you know, sympathy, empathy for your child and your emotions are coming up, you are allowed to say, okay, you know, let’s talk about this in a couple hours, da da da. And kind of if you have to decompress or whatever before you address it, because it’s very important to not pull your emotions into it if possible. These kids go through enough with a narcissist as a parent. Number two is not to take it personally, and this is something even with my own parents, they were divorced and you know, it was, my dad was like the fun parent. He was the every other weekend, gave me McDonald’s, maybe took me fun places. My mom was the disciplinarian, the one who was working crazy hours trying to just feed us and keep the lights on.
Speaker 1: (04:35)
And there was a lot of background stuff I had no idea was going on that, you know, my dad was doing. And I wouldn’t know that till adulthood in the last episode I mentioned, um, my mom did not trash talk and wanted to keep things separate for us, which I so appreciate. So it can be hard to not take things personally like, you know, I found a note once from my childhood. It was a picture of me and my dad and my brother, and it said, I love dad more. He takes me to McDonald’s, right? And you may be familiar with that. If you are with a narcissist, they can be awful, but they can also be very charming. They can be very fun and sometimes they don’t have to be a narcissist to do those things. It’s just they’re trying to make up for the time that they’re not around.
Speaker 1: (05:18)
So we have to not take these personally as the parent that is more of the disciplinarian. You know, the one who has to be a little more serious and make sure things are rolling smoothly. When the children respond to a narcissistic parent first they could be in fear of that parent. Or like I said, that parent may put on the fun face and be the fun parent and try not to take it personally because it’s not. It’s your child trying to connect to both parents and that’s absolutely normal as a child, right? You want to have the two parents in your life be very stable and you want that, that connection. You want to feel loved if they have a narcissistic parent. It’s very common that that narcissistic parent, though they may be fun still may make the child feel not important or valued. Many times it could be the bulk of the time, but they still, you know, make it fun.
Speaker 1: (06:14)
But that child will still be seeking something. They’re not getting filled by the parent. So they’re seeking their approval and they want, they like desperately wanna connect because the narcissist makes it hard to connect. Whereas you, the healthy parent, you don’t make it hard to connect, it’s easy. They know they have you, right? So it’s, they take you for granted. And this is, this is normal. That’s childhood. Children are selfish by nature. Their brains don’t fully develop till they’re like 26. So we got a while , we got a while till they really get it and even maybe till their parents themselves. So alongside of it just being hard to parent children because they can be selfish. If you have a narcissist in the picture, it can be easy to be like, you know, well, why do they gravitate toward them or why do they see nice things in them when they’re so horrible?
Speaker 1: (07:09)
It’s just unfortunately part of the package and really try hard to not take it personally. I am telling you, eventually the child sees the narcissistic parent for what they are. It may take a year, it may take decades. We don’t, it just depends on the child, the situation. But eventually the children will see the truth and as their adults get to make their own decisions and what they do with that relationship, this may seem obvious, but I gotta throw it in there. Watch for signs of abuse. Look for anything that crosses the line. Physical, sexual, emotional abuse, anything. If you see any signs immediately report it to the authorities. Keep your child away and of course, document everything. Always document everything. I can’t say that enough. That should be my tagline in my show. Document everything, all right, last, be a healthy parent. We’re not gonna be perfect, right?
Speaker 1: (08:05)
We’re just not. No one’s perfect, no one’s a hundred percent healthy. We all have our faults, but you can’t choose how your partner parents, your child, but you can offset it with healthy parenting. So be a good role model. Coach your child through the rough patches. The antidote to your partner’s narcissism is acceptance, stability, uplifting comments, and unconditional love. We don’t need to flip to the other extreme of letting the child take over the house and letting guilt kind of guide our decisions and spoiling our children rotten. That can be damaging too, right? But there is a balance and you are going to have to compensate for the damage that they can do on the children. And that is, it’s part of what, what we’re signing up for here as co-parenting. This is probably not what you expected out of life, but here we are.
Speaker 1: (09:02)
So we have to manage it the best way we can. And you’re the person, you’re here. So obviously you’re the healthier person looking to do better and be better and grow and thrive and you want your children to do the same. So you have to really not get sucked into the drama, not get sucked into the emotions, especially around your children, right? If you need a moment to cry or punch a pillow, go do the thing. But not in front of your kids. Don’t talk about the situation to your girlfriend at volume 11 on the phone in the kitchen when your kid is right there in the living room next to you, kids hear everything. Let this be a reminder. So save those conversations for your private hour. I don’t know what that is. That sounds, that sounds like a whole other podcast, but you know what I mean.
Speaker 1: (09:49)
When you have time without your child where they cannot hear you, they are not an earshot, then you have those conversations. So that is also healthy parenting kids only need one healthy parent. That’s my view. Honestly. I think they need one healthy role model in their life. It’s great to have obviously healthy friends and family to help support and be there to lean on for you and your child, of course. But I have seen amazing children come out of one parent households, very, very healthy children and many kids don’t even get that, right? There are families that have two parents that are really messed up. So I know sometimes it feels lonely as the only healthy parent, but know that it’s good enough. You are good enough. Be that healthy role model so they have a chance because that narc parent, it’s not an easy road, but you are there to compensate for it and you’re doing a great job and none of this is easy, but it’s doable.
Speaker 1: (11:00)
And then we have to take care of our mind and body with, you know, all my other episodes going into rebalancing your nervous system, all that stuff is really important too. So make sure while you’re going through this, you’re also taking care of yourself. All right, so remember, you are amazing. You are beautiful. You are a queen co-parent. Check that out, okay? You’re a queen co-parent now. See you soon. If you are loving this podcast, but want a little more customized guidance, go to my website at www.christyjade.com and go to the work with me tab to find ways you can work with me. I would love to help you. Also, don’t forget to look in the show notes, a k a, the description of this podcast for any related links that I mention and more. Christy Jade, fun.
How to Protect Your Kids from Your Narcissist Ex