Co-parenting with a Narcissistic co-parent - Little Kids Business

Co-parenting with a Narcissistic co-parent

Breakups can be really upsetting and stressful on both you, your ex and your children. Working out a co-parenting agreement is difficult, however it is next to impossible if your Ex is a Narcissist.

Narcissism is extreme self-involvement to the degree that it makes a person ignore the needs of those around them. While everyone may show occasional narcissistic behaviour, true narcissists frequently disregard others or their feelings. They also do not understand the effect that their behaviour has on other people.

Your Ex may be very charming and charismatic. They often don’t show negative behaviour right away, especially in relationships. Your Ex will most likely surround himself with people who are superficial and feed their ego.

Crucial tips for co-parenting with a narcissistic ex …

2. You must put you and your kids first and accept that you cannot co-parent easily with them. Your Ex partner is not emotionally intelligent enough. They are only interested in their own person with his own agenda, and therefore, to preserve your sanity, you must put up rock-solid boundaries that will create happiness for both you and your children. 
This often means that you will need to take legal steps to put some rules in place. Make a parenting order and document every single time your Ex does not meet the rules and restrictions of this legal agreement. If there remains no prospect of settlement for interim or final parenting arrangements even after FDR, then court proceedings will need to be commenced.

A court may make any number of orders regarding children and these include:-

  • orders for who is to make major decisions in the child’s life, for example schooling, religion, immunisations and the like – known as parental responsibility;
  • whom children are to live with and spend time, including on application by a person other than the child’s biological parents – for example a grandparent or step parent;
  • time spent with each parent on birthdays, school holidays, Christmas, Easter and other special occasions;
  • overseas travel arrangements 
  • relocation and recovery orders, where one parent wishes to relocate the residence of the children or has already done so without the consent of the other parent or otherwise retained a child to the exclusion of the other parent;
  • orders ensuring a child’s safety as a result of drug or alcohol abuse by a parent.

With extensive experience in all manner of parenting proceedings, parenting lawyers are able to assist you with your parenting case and ensure your children have an outcome that accords their very best interests.

People will tell you that there is no reasoning with the narcissist, and that’s true. They are not interested in any sort of reasoning or logic. 

Your relationship with this person is over so do not share personal information with your Ex. Don't play games and do not get sucked back in and spat back out again. It is possible that your children may be told untruths about you for no logical reason at all. Don't let this anger and annoyance eat you up. This is a manipulation tactic known as triangulation.

Triangulation happens when one or both of the people involved in the conflict try to pull a third person into the dynamic, often with the goal of:

  • deflecting some of the tension
  • creating another conflict to take the spotlight off the original issue
  • reinforcing their sense of rightness or superiority

If a narcissist is part of  a couple having an argument, for example, they will turn to the kids, encouraging them to take a side. It’s done to establish control and create conflict. It will be difficult however you need to not answer their questions.

Stay calm, 

Step back,

Exhale and choose happiness for you and your children. 


Set up a system where your only interaction is through email, text or a co-parenting App. If you have to pass physical items or legal documents, one good way to minimise contact is to simply drop the items off in his mailbox or at his door when he is not in. Take a video as proof and a timestamp that you’ve dropped off the items and send them a notification that you’ve done so.

If there are really important documents, send important documents through registered mail, so that they cannot claim that they didn’t receive it. 

Keep an accurate diary and document everything

Sadly, this relationship is not ideal so you will need to cover yourself. Screenshot and save chat messages, Save emails and other evidence of behaviour which can be shown as proof if you need to go back to court. 

This is a very stressful situation which will be a whole lot easier to manage, once you follow these instructions. This relationship is over, they can not longer control you. Don't let them. 

Surround yourself with people that love and respect you. Seek help from like-minded people Do not ever badmouth your ex, no matter what they are saying about you. In time, your children will know which the parent was the one who showed up for them and make their own conclusions. 

For further assistance 

Family Relationship Advice Line (Australian Government Innitiative)
The Family Relationship Advice Line is a national telephone service established to assist families affected by relationship or separation issues. The Advice Line provides information on family relationship issues and advice on parenting arrangements after separation. It can also refer callers to local services that can provide assistance

The Family Relationship Advice Line (1800 050 321) is available from 8 am to 8 pm, Monday to Friday, and 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday (local time), except national public holidays

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