How to Be the Better Parent When Parenting with a Narcissist & Why Healing is the Best Solution

Edwin Bii
5 min readApr 16, 2024
Photo by Julian Hochgesang on Unsplash

Parenting with a narcissist is not the easiest thing to do because they will find ways to frustrate you or even the kids without caring much about how it affects them. You may want to give them a fair share or treat them like an equal parent but those rules never really apply with someone who is used to control, deceit and manipulation for most of their lives. It will be challenging as they will tend to prioritize their needs and desires over yours and the kids.

General rules and principles of human decency and understanding don’t really apply. That’s why you’ve got to step up and really be ahead of the game by becoming the better parent in this arrangement. When you become the better parent, you’re creating a safe and loving environment for your kids and not an environment where they feel confused and frustrated.

Challenges of co-parenting when you’re unhealed

When you’re unhealed, you’ll find yourself pouring your frustrations and bitterness to your kids who are already confused. You will, of course, do this unconsciously and later on you’ll regret at what you’ve done. Your innocent kids will be on the receiving end of your anger and this will create so much tension in them. Your kids may not fully know how manipulative your ex-partner is and they may even see you as equals especially when you find yourself getting so angered or having an emotional upheaval.

The other thing is when you’re unhealed, you will not be fully present to listen to them or to provide them with that loving environment where they can thrive. Your kids may also side with your ex because the other co-parent is more persuasive. The narcissist parent may spoil them with video games, TV, junk food and those sweet things which offer temporary gratification. For the kids, they may at times prefer spending time with the narc parent. You are already a great parent, you care so much about their future, you want them to have a healthy lifestyle but it’s working against you. You may also try to win over your kids or compete with the narcissist on who’s the better parent. This is because you hold negative beliefs like, “You’re not a good parent” and those beliefs are making you try and try to prove a point to your kids. When you try to prove a point, you’ll be competing with someone who lacks empathy.

Your ex-partner also knows which buttons to press and how to trigger your greatest fears (like threats to alienate you from the kids). When you’re not mindful of your actions, you will even forget about the kids who are getting hurt and just waste your energy ‘fighting’ someone who thrives in those competitive environments. So, it will really be hard for you to step up and become a better parent when you’re constantly triggered and you’re angered by the actions of the narcissist. It will also be hard when the action of your kids and your ex-partner define who you’re as a person or as a parent.

“When two bulls fight, what hurts is the grass” — Swahili Proverb

But now what happens, when you’ve healed and ‘co-parenting’ with them?

When you heal and understand yourself, you’ll be better placed to deal with their last-minute change of plans or their general frustrations. You will get frustrated but it will not turn out to be full-blown rage because you are in control of your emotions. You will not be panicking or letting their actions define you.

You will be giving your all but your all will not be coming out as a reaction to their actions. You will even deeply understand that you are a very good parent and that in itself means that you’ll have no point to prove to your kids. You will be focusing on their needs and your behavior will be having a positive impact on their lives.

You will be more present and even understand why they may side with the narc sometimes. When this happens, you’ll see through it and understand that they’re being manipulated and you’ll stand up as that compassionate parent without hating your innocent kids. Healing is the point where you understand what’s within your control and you’re operating from the point of love.

Your emotional maturity and calmness will bring about a loving environment for the kids to flourish. You will be nurturing your kids with love and compassion even when the narc is working against you. Your love will be weeding out the hate and confusion building up on your kid’s life. But if you don’t heal, you’ll just be watering the seeds of hate deep within them. That’s why the key component to becoming a better parent is not actually looking out there for solutions or being overprotective but it’s deep within you. It’s you working on yourself and dealing with the pain buried deep inside you.

Lastly, when you work on yourself it becomes easy to even find best external solutions where necessary because you’ll be exuding this calmness and focus. You will not be really expecting ‘anything’ from the narcissist to help you out with the parenting but you’ll be ready to show up for your kids even when the other parent is acting up.

For example, if it’s following up on their doctor’s appointments, school meetings and all those other responsibilities, you’ll be doing it with grace but not because the other parent has ‘failed’ to take up their role. You’ll be more willing to go an extra mile without really feeling like it’s a burden or the other parent is using you. You’ll just be doing it for you and as an expression of love to your kids. Actually, that’s the most understated aspect of healing, healing brings about this lightness in all your actions unlike when you’re unhealed where everything seems like a struggle.

Note from the Author

If you’re ready and you’d like my help with healing, finding peace in life and breaking free from these toxic patterns, then you can book a FREE BREAKTHROUGH CALL with me HERE. Happy healing 💙💙. Feel free to share and comment! Use this information with caution, it comes from my own thoughts & bias, experiences and research😊.

--

--

Edwin Bii

ACH Therapist| Mind Shifting Coach | Talks about Toxic Relationships| Narcissism| Relationships| Dating| Book Free call ▶️ bit.ly/Bcall 📧biiedwin8@gmail.com