Having children is a rewarding and magical experience for many parents. However, when the person you have children with makes it challenging to navigate parenting, it can be exhausting. If they are a narcissist, it can be even harder to parent with them. If you’re in this situation, knowing how to navigate the process is vital to shield your children from the realities of the circumstances. Keep reading to learn more about this struggle and discover how a Suffolk County child custody lawyer can help you provide the best situation for your children.
What Is a Narcissist?
Narcissism is a personality disorder and mental illness affecting how people view themselves and others. Traditionally, those with narcissism have an inflated sense of self-worth, often believing they are superior, entitled, and have low empathy for others.
However, it is crucial to understand that narcissism is a complex illness that can only be diagnosed by a licensed professional. Even if you don’t get along with the other parent, try not to call them a narcissist unless they have been officially diagnosed by a professional.
What Are the Challenges This Could Present?
Unfortunately, someone with narcissism can have many issues when it comes to parenting. They may often feel low empathy for their children, placing their own needs above that of their children. These feelings can cause many issues when trying to co-parent with a narcissist.
They could also try to manipulate you and your children. A narcissist may lie to your children and use them as pawns to get what they want from you. They may also try to make you the bad guy in the eyes of your children. This can impact your relationship with your children, as they may be conflicted and feel overwhelmed by who to believe.
How Do I Navigate Co-Parenting?
Many recommend trying to avoid co-parenting. Instead, you should attempt to “parallel parent.” Working together may be impossible, especially if they do not have the emotional capacity to handle working with another person.
However, there are tips you can follow to make the process simpler. One of the most crucial tips is to ensure you have a strong, legal parenting plan in place. This includes ensuring you document all agreements on issues like religion, education, medical care, and holidays. It should also strictly outline visitation agreements to ensure there is no loophole they can use.
If you’re co-parenting with a narcissist, ensuring you have a lawyer to fight for you is crucial. After all, your goal is to protect your children from unnecessary negativity and issues, and the right attorney can help you do that. At Peter V. Mandi & Associates, we’re ready to fight for you. We will do everything in our power to help you provide the best life possible for your children.