Raising a child is not easy, and having a toxic narcissist ex on your back does not make things any better.
There is no middle ground with these people. A narcissist has to get their way. You constantly have to go to the extreme by playing along or ensuring they don't get their way.
It's a hard way to live and parent.
Trying to improve communication between the two of you does not make things easier. Things can be particularly hellish if you still have feelings for this person and still reminisce on the times you fantasized about having a future together.
Unfortunately, research does not have a lot of answers on how you should go about parenting with a narcissistic partner.
The impact such a parent can have on your child can be profound and devastating.
But you are not completely helpless. There are ways you can make parenting with a narcissistic parent more palatable and better for the child using the following strategies.
1. Make Your Child A Priority
Nobody is safe from a narcissist, even their own blood. So, you can't entrust the safety, health, and wellbeing of your child to your narcissistic co-parent. If you are not careful, the child could suffer the brunt of their toxicity and become collateral damage as you engage in a vicious mental war.
2. Be Calm, Nice, And Non-Emotional
This is tougher than it sounds, but it will make your situation a thousand times more tolerable and a lot better for the child. You can try meditating and other ways of calming yourself so you can relate with your child healthily and deal with your crazy narcissistic ex with none of their toxicity rubbing off on you.
3. Teach Your Child Social And Emotional Intelligence
Your child will ask questions about being raised by one parent at a time. There is no getting around that. But to keep the child at ease, show examples of families with single parents that are doing well.
4. Minimize Contact
Reducing contact with a narcissist is in your best interest. That doesn't change when you have to raise a kid together. A narcissist will always try to get the upper hand when you get too close, so keep your distance.
5. Teach Independence To Your Child
If there is one thing you can count on, it's the fact that a narcissist will at one time stop paying much attention to the needs of the child. Make sure they are ready by teaching them the importance and benefits of being independent. Also, make sure the child does not get selfish or pick up other bad qualities from the narcissistic parent.
6. Don't Say Co-Parent
If you use this word, then it diminishes the effort you are making to raise your child in the right way. You are a parent, period. You don't need another person, especially a narcissistic ex, to help you raise a child. Know this and you and your child will fare much better.
7. Don't Pity The Child
If you have completely managed to get rid of the narcissistic co-parent from your life, and your child still longs for them, don't feel pity and try to re-establish the relationship. They might not like it, but it is to the benefit of their psychological health.
8. Don't Allow The Child To Call Or Text The Ex When In Your Custody
Why? Because this will create a perfect triangulation opportunity for your narcissistic co-parent. In fact, you should not call or text your child so much when in the custody of the ex either.
9. Don't Attack Your Ex In Front Of The Child
Narcissists suck, that's for sure. However, children are not in a position to understand that. So, attacking your ex before the child is not okay, and it does the child lots of psychological damage.
In life, you play the hand you are dealt with. So, if you have a narcissistic ex, you have to try extra hard to raise the child successfully. But it can be done.