Of Emotional Abuse & Narcissistic Personality Disorder 11

This piece is a worthy continuance of the former on co parenting tips with a narcissist.

• Avoid unnecessary conflict - Try to keep emotions out of the mix. Your partner/ex is likely to revel in seeing you super anxious or upset. Don’t give them the satisfaction. When it comes to arguments, avoid using your child as a go-between, negotiator, or to otherwise gather information. Keep things between you and your partner/ex.

If this is especially hard for you to master, try treating your communications with your partner/ex like a job. You don’t have to agree on everything, but you do have to work together. This mindset may help you navigate through rough discussions and keep conflicts to a minimum.

• Expect challenges - Reframing your expectations may also help. If you go into different parenting situations expecting some kickback, you may be less shocked or stressed when issues arise. Alternatively, you may be pleasantly surprised if something goes over relatively easily.

Remember: Co-parenting can be challenging even if parents are generally agreeable. While some situations may be made unbearable due to dealing with a narcissist, some may just be part of adjusting to the new normal.

• Consider counseling - If it’s getting to be too much to handle on your own, reach out. A therapist can help you work through issues and come to solutions for those seemingly impossible scenarios. Expressing your feelings to a neutral person can help you take a step back and reassess your situation. Therapy isn’t a bad idea for your child either.

• Maintain perspective on conflicts - Be sure to acknowledge what you’re up against. Underneath that exterior of boldness, the narcissist is actually over - sensitive to criticism and most likely has a very low self-esteem. Your conflicts are much less about the situations at hand and far more about ego - have this in mind.

Knowing this is half the battle - What’s important is that you stay sane and your child stays safe. Advocate for your child and keep their interests clutched to your heart. In the long run, shifting the focus off all the spats and keeping your efforts on what’s truly important will only strengthen the relationship with your kids.

Try parallel parenting - When all else fails, you may want to consider parallel parenting, which isn’t the same thing as co-parenting. This type of arrangement allows you to stop having contact with your ex as much as possible. In especially toxic circumstances, parallel parenting allows each parent to parent the way they choose when the child is in their custody.

How does it look like? Parents do not attend things like school concerts, sports events, or parent-teacher conferences together. You will also likely choose neutral spots for pick-ups/drop-offs from visitations. Communication only happens when it’s absolutely necessary. While this may sound rather tumultuous for the child, it does take unwarranted frequent quarrels between parents out of the equation.

Even better, perhaps with enough distancing, you and your ex might be able to eventually build better communication and cooperation.

When to take further action

If your ex has become either emotionally or physically abusive, the time to act is now. Do everything you can to legally remove your children from their care. If you’re struggling with what to do first, reach out for support anywhere you can get it (counselors, lawyers, family, friends, etc.).

The priority is to get your child into a safe environment; this may mean making visitation under supervision via court order. If you can provide documentation of physical or emotional abuse, neglect, or any other concerns, it will aid your case.

Conclusively, it is vital that parents keep the best interests of the child a priority when co – parenting. Without the best interests of the child at the pinnacle of our minds, the child’s welfare and future is at a great risk. The next piece will enunciate on how to prove narcissism and emotional abuse in general in a court of law.

• Gaone Monau is a Practicing attorney and Motivational speaker. For bookings on gender-based violence awareness seminars, motivational talks or consultations on relationships, confidence building, stress management and self-discovery contact +26774542732 or [email protected] Her Facebook page is Be Motivated with Gaone. • This article was co – authored in conjunction with Tsholofelo Kgwalabatlhe, a narcissist survivor, Psychologist, Founder and Director of Explore Consults Pty Ltd- a company that offers counselling, psychotherapy, workshops, trainings and assessments. Her Facebook page is Explore Life with Tsholo. For bookings/appointments contact 73015012.

Editor's Comment
More resources needed to fight crime

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