narcissist looking in the mirror

Co-parenting with someone that you’re not on good terms with can be a difficult situation regardless of the circumstances. However, co-parenting relationships can become even more strained if one parent has narcissistic tendencies. Have you ever wondered if your co-parent might be a narcissist? Are you looking for tips on dealing with a narcissist? You’ve come to the right place. Continue reading or contact a York County, PA Child Custody Attorney today to learn more about your options.


Not everyone who displays narcissistic behavior is truly a diagnosed narcissist. In fact, narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) only affects about six percent of American adults. That being said, even if your co-parent doesn’t have the disorder, it can still be extremely difficult to deal with someone who frequently displays narcissistic behaviors. If you believe your co-parent may have NPD, you should consider reaching out to a mental health professional. Common symptoms you should look out for include exaggerated feelings of superiority, a constant need for attention/praise, low empathy for others, envious tendencies, and manipulation. These behaviors make it difficult for narcissistic to maintain healthy relationships with others, including co-parents and children. A co-parent with narcissistic tendencies might:

  • Prioritize their own needs over both your and the children’s needs
  • Refuse to be flexible/understanding
  • Be sensitive to any form of criticism
  • Manipulate the children into making you seem like ‘the bad guy’


It sometimes seems impossible to deal with someone who exhibits the aforementioned symptoms of NPD, but there are certainly ways to protect yourself and your children from this type of behavior. The most important thing you can do is make sure that you have a solid, legally-binding parenting plan. A narcissistic person might try to manipulate the schedule, but a family law attorney might be able to help you prevent this. Some people also hire mediators to help both parents decide on a reasonable agreement. Document everything to make sure the co-parent can’t legally go against the decided agreements.

As a parent, you might worry about how narcissistic behavior could negatively affect your children. The best thing you can do is provide a safe and loving home for your children by protecting them from the negativity of the situation. There’s nothing wrong with seeking therapy either. Dealing with a narcissist is emotionally draining, so a mental health professional could help both you and your children cope with your co-parent’s behaviors. If your co-parent’s behavior turns abusive, reach out to family protective services immediately and file for full custody of your children.

If you think your co-parent could have NPD, make sure you speak with a trusted child custody lawyer who can help you determine your options. Contact Ilkhanoff & Silverstein today for an initial consultation.