Save The Children

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If there is one thing which will often scupper an attempt to escape our clutches, it is the existence of children. On the one hand the existence of children created by you and our kind often results in you continuing to endure the relationship for the sake of the children rather than separate. On the other hand, even if you do decide that it is better to separate than stay with our kind, you are rarely able to truly escape because of the shared connection that exists because of the children. Even though you wish to escape the roller coaster existence of being with our kind, as an empathic person you behave fairly and recognise that the children should see their other parent and thus you either make provision or allow for contact to continue between our kind and the children which in turn means that there must inevitably remain contact between you and us. You may however take the draconian step of deciding that it is in the best interests of the children to have no contact with the narcissistic (although usually you only realise the other parent is abusive rather than narcissistic at this juncture) parent and cut all contact off. This then results in our kind turning to formal means through the courts to establish contact with the child or children again.

Your concerns in respect of the involvement of our kind in the raising of children cover numerous factors.

  1. You are concerned that our behaviour will affect the children so that they in turn become narcissists;
  2. You are worried that our behaviour leads to the children witnessing abusive behaviour towards you which will upset the children;
  3. You are concerned that our behaviour will lead to the children not receiving a stable and nurturing upbringing;
  4. You are worried that the children will be used as pawns between you and us and adversely influence so they are turned against you;
  5. You are concerned by our failing to provide emotional and financial support which will in turn impact on the children; and
  6. You are worried that our behaviours will effectively spoil what should be happy moments in childhood.

These, along with others, are legitimate concerns. It becomes especially difficult for you when you find that you face a battle between doing what is right for a child even though this may clash with what they want. They want to spend time with us but you see such time as toxic and having an influence on the child (who as a child cannot see or comprehend what is happening) which is at best unhelpful and at worst downright damaging. How do you deal with a situation where you need to do what is right and best for a child, even though they will not see this at the time? First of all, what must you understand about our attitude towards children and parenting?

  1. Children are regarded as appliances by us. There is no distinction made for the fact that they are children nor that we are their parent. We see children as appliances and devices which are extension of ourselves and therefore there to do our bidding. You should never be under any illusion that a narcissistic parent loves the child. Do not be fooled into thinking that any benign act exhibited by our kind is a manifestation of love towards a child. It is not;
  2. This pervading mind set means that children will be used in order to gather fuel. This will be done directly by obtaining fuel from them. Initially this will manifest as wanting to spoil them when we have time with them so that their positive responses to this will provide us with positive fuel. We will upset, anger and frustrate children in addition to draw negative fuel as and when it is deemed appropriate. This is not done because the positive fuel has become stale (as is the case when devaluation occurs in the context of an intimate partner primary source) but is an adjunct of wanting to achieve some other aim. The two most popular aims are control and triangulation. We will provoke a negative fuel response from children in order to exert control over them, for instance, taking a toy away or forbidding them to do something that they enjoy such as watching a certain television programme or being allowed some sweets. This reinforces our control. A child is no different from any other appliance and must be subjected to our control. This control is not exerted for the benefit of the child, for instance, stopping the child from eating sweets every day because it is unhealthy, but is only done so we can establish control. In terms of triangulation, the negative emotional response will be achieved for the purposes of triangulating you. For instance, we may suggest to the child that mummy does not love the child so it becomes upset. We only care about the reaction, not the well-being of the child. We may say that the child cannot do something on your instruction, in order to both upset the child and thus gain negative fuel and at the same time smear you through this triangulation. Thus, when negative fuel is sought from a child it arises in conjunction with the desire to control and/or to triangulate.
  3. The traits and achievements of the child are up for grabs in the same way that we steal and acquire traits from adults in order to furnish our construct and make ourselves look even more appealing. Our sense of entitlement is such that the child has only won the race, come top of the class, swum that distance, secured a place on a vacation scheme as a consequence of our brilliance. We will remind you, the child and third parties that this is the case. Repeatedly.
  4. We will smear and brief against you at every available opportunity. Irrespective of the reasons why the relationship between you and us ended, we will not rise above the desire for smearing for the sake of the children. If there is an opportunity to take a pot shot at you, it will be taken. The needs of the children do not ever come before our needs. Thus if they are upset by what we say about you, we receive fuel and do not care how it affects them. If they begin to dislike you because we suggest you are too strict, we will not counter that but rather we will cultivate this position to our advantage.
  5. Just like you, children can cause criticism to us. Rather than soak it up as a mature, well-adjusted parent would, we will lash out when there is a perceived or actual criticism of us delivered by the words and/or actions of the child. This will as ever result in the ignition of fury and the manifestation of heated fury or cold fury. We will sulk with a child, turn away from them if they want support and/or shout at them. The fact they are a child is meaningless to us. The fact we as a parent owe obligations to them to behave in a mature and responsible fashion to them does not matter because our needs come first.
  6. We have no sense of responsibility or obligation to children. A lesser narcissist will see no need to maintain maintenance payments and will be content not to see work. A greater may well make such payments, not because he cares about the children but it is done to show to everybody else how generous he is and also to make you look bad if your financial contributions are not as substantial. The payment or otherwise of financial support will be used as a carrot and stick against you throughout the duration of childhood. We will only become involved in the lives of the children if we regard there as being some kind of benefit to us. Their emotional needs, education, safety etc. are irrelevant to us. We will attend a school performance not to show support to the child so they feel happy, but to show to other parents that we apparently love and support the child, so we gain fuel and infuriate you. We regard obligations as beneath us, we have no sense of accountability, our sense of entitlement means we can do as we please, our lack of guilt or conscience means there is no mechanism causing us to adopt an alternative stance.
  7. Understand that children are pawns which will ALWAYS be used to our advantage. Whether it is to bind you to us during the golden period, to make us look good to others, to draw fuel, to exert control, to triangulate, to perpetuate abuse and so forth, our interactions with our children are governed by our needs. In the same way that our interactions with you as intimate partner, or our involvement with an inner circle friend, or our dealing with a stranger are all governed by our needs first, the same is applicable to children.
  8. Attempting to curtail our involvement with the children is seen as a criticism to us, irrespective of how morally and factually correct your action may be. That is irrelevant to us. We will use the court system for our purposes. We do not wish to spend time with our children for their sake, but instead it is for our sake. We may find it boring having them but if we know the fact they stay with us one night a week upsets and angers you, we will do it in order to draw this fuel from you and therefore we will use the court system to fight. It is not a fight for the benefit of the children. It is a fight for the maintenance of our needs – fuel, control, triangulation etc.

With this mind set of ours now apparent in our interactions with you and the children, how do you deal with us?

  1. Minimise the interaction you have with us. Establish a system for messages to be sent by e-mail or text. If this is deviated from by a telephone call, do not take the call but allow voice mail to pick up the call and then you can establish how best to respond thereafter and you will not provide fuel by being tricked into answering a call. If possible, prevent any face to face contact between you and us concerning the children. We draw the most fuel from seeing your emotional reactions face to face. Remove this (where practical) and you are denying us fuel. For instance, utilise the assistance of other family members or friends for the handover of the children until such an age as when they can use transport or walk between venues safely.
  2. Ensure all communications are to the point, business-like and contain no emotion. This again denies us fuel. Establish a five-minute rule so that you never immediately respond to our communications (when you are more likely to do so in an emotional fashion as we try to provoke you). If five minutes is too short, extend the time.
  3. By denying us fuel we will (initially) try to provoke you in different ways concerning arrangements and interaction with the children. Weather that storm and because we must obtain fuel we will have to seek it elsewhere. You are not a viable source so we will eventually look to obtain fuel from you less and less. You will also eventually notice that this manifests by us losing interest in the children. Remember, we are not interested in the children per se but how they as appliances can serve us.
  4. You will face an ongoing battle between your influence and our influence. This is deliberate as it is used to provoke you into confronting us about what we say about you, what we say to the children and what we do with them. We want you to engage. You must resist the need to do so. Remember, you will not make us change. We will not listen to you. We want to control you and draw fuel from you. We use the children to achieve this. Accordingly, if the children comment that we are making disparaging comments about you: –
  5. Do not confront us about the issue, it is futile;
  6. Do not seek to influence the view of the child by saying “Dad is a bad person” this will trouble the child and the response will be conveyed to us which will secure Thought Fuel for us and also provide us with further ammunition to use against you for your comment. Instead, move on to discussing something else  and the child is likely to forget about the comment. If the child persists in wanting to discuss the matter, then explain that Dad does things differently to you and then move on. Provide reassurance and listen to the child but do not, however tempting it may be, do or say anything disparaging as this plays into our hands. Your role is to maintain a positive influence for your children as often as you are able. By doing this (and starving us of fuel so the interaction will lessen) your positive influence will progressively outweigh our negative influence. The more you expose your children to a positive influence and avoid walking into our traps and playing into our hands, you will tip the balance so that they will, through the effluxion of time and exposure to this positive influence flourish under it and make their own minds up.
  7. In a similar fashion to how you must deal with a smear campaign, do not tell the children what to think, but allow them to make up their own minds. This will be difficult at first and you will no doubt find yourself on the receiving end of hurtful and challenging behaviour. Keep in mind that this is our influence (not what the child really thinks) and that as you weather the storm, the effects of your positive influence will eventually manifest. As the children become older you can present them with independent evidence of behaviour (not just hearsay and say so) so they can evaluate this for themselves and make their own minds-up. Like third parties, children do not want to be involved in a conflict between two people and they do not want to be told what to do. Cater for this and you will minimise disruption and increase your positive influence.
  8. Your approach is one of ensuring the “light side” overcomes the “dark side”. This can only be achieved by repeated reinforcement of positive behaviour and influence. If you engage in behaviours similar to ours, you enter onto our home turf and you will not only encourage us to keep going with our behaviours but you will find there is a negative outcome for both you and the children.
  9. If our behaviour is serious in terms of impact on the children – for instance violence or neglect – involve the relevant authorities. You will not be able to cause us to recognise we have done anything wrong because we either do not recognise that we have or we will not admit it for the purposes of maintaining control.
  10. If you regard it as appropriate, save messages and e-mails which exhibit our behaviour and allow the child access to them when an adult. This is again the presentation of independent evidence when they are in a position to make their own minds up. You must not engage in a popularity contest or sling mud; you will lose as this is playing into our hands.
  11. If you find yourself having to engage with us through the court system, ensure those representing you are familiar with our kind. Rely on independent evidence as much as possible rather than “he said, she said”. Recognise that we are experts at duping people and our lawyers, your lawyers, psychologists, court officials and judges can just as easily be duped. If a hearing does not go your way, resist the urge to lash out at us – it is of course just fuel – and instead continue to adopt a positive approach towards your children. That must always be your focus. We want you to engage with us and we will use children and the court system to provoke you to do this. Fail to engage and you take away much of our power.

It is hard. A narcissistic parent is a fact. We will not go away so long as we are getting what we want or believe we can do so. Prevent us from getting what we want, demonstrate to us that we are unlikely to get what we want and we will turn our attention elsewhere. This will then allow your positive influence to have an even greater bearing on the children and undo any harmful effects from our toxic influence. You will face challenges but by trying to address our behaviour, cater for it and pander to it, you will not succeed in protecting your children. I have seen this first hand.

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27 thoughts on “Save The Children”

  1. New question for you Mr. Tudor,
    What happens to the narc parent if;

    1. their child is openly diagnosed with a mental illness, such as, PTSD, ADHD, depression and happens to be made public knowledge because of his constant need to drag the other parent to court?(Aside from blaming the non-narc parent) Does this hinder their ability to parade perfection? No my ex is not a victim player mainly.

    2. What if the child is diagnosed with Asperger? Narc knows this is on the Autistic spectrum.

    3. What if the child is young but already sees the narc parent for what they are? Albeit, still sometimes falls victim to the hoovering, then let down by the return of bad behaviors and becomes confused. But, said child is able to reflect on it and in return communicate the confusion to their non-narc parent who, in turn validates them by listening and helping them reflect. But as you suggest, NEVER bad mouthing the other parent.

    I ask because in recent years my child’s narc father has lost parenting time with our child due to his behaviors. When I say lost time, I mean from 55/45 to 90/10 time and I’ve become the primary custodial parent.
    He has also been caught in bold faced lies to a judge and slowly been retreating in his emailed raging diatribes towards me. Sometimes going weeks before reading anything about our child and to my relief at times never answering an email. He does rear his head when he hits a subject, towards our child, with me that he knows will garner him massive amounts of fuel. I am working on that as I write this. The last time he sucked my fuel a judge in turn blasted him for a criminal act towards our child and told him she would file the criminal charges herself. And that I had the control and final say, not him (Massive Narcissistic blow?)

    He does have a primary source who can not have children so he has promised she would be our child’s Mommy. But recently he has had her do his biding and therefore making her at fault and she is on the verge of having a judge restrain her from even being allowed around our child. Is this his way of being able to discard her for a new primary? It seems to me he intends to make her take the blame if he loses his time with our child and in effect discards them both.

    1. 1. The narcissist will not support the child save where it is useful for the purposes of facade management and triangulation.
      2. Similar.
      3. Dependent on the school of narcissist, the narcissist is likely to fight back in order to get the child back under control and smear the non-narcissist parent. If the narcissist senses this is failing, he is likely to abandon.

      1. Hi HG, the narc I was/ am involved with as a secondary source has recently had a child with his primacy source. He thought he would never be able to have children, so he is overjoyed. He is a somatic mid ranger. He looks so genuinely happy and loves his son so very much! Makes me doubt his narcissism. He also sounds concerned about how his primacy source is feeling after child birth. Sounds like she is struggling with baby blues. I am wondering whether he is expressing his concern because of the facade management or he truly cares since she is the mother of his son. Do you think he may also be giving her respite? Any insight would be appreciated! Thanks so much!

  2. The N parent leaves the child damaged. The child carries so much shame for stuff they had no control over. Damaging innocent human beings on purpose. I’ll never understand.

  3. Do the children eventually see the evil in their narc parent? It’s hard to find the children a counselor who specializes in this and who don’t despise the empath who explains the narc as it makes it look like your putting the other parent down. My children are afraid of their dad and feel forced to say they want to live with him, change their personality like I don’t exist, and seem withdrawn sharing anything ab his house. They blurt everything ab my house to him bc it causes praise as his reaction. I have one child whose favored by their father and one whose not. The one whose not had to be put on medication bc anxiety and depression. I only communicate by texting. He is remarried and so am I but his family like parents and sibling see through it too so they are detached from him now. He treats them the same as he does me. I worry my kids will have self esteem problems as all they worry ab is trying to make him proud of them. I want them to see the truth but I fear they’ll be devastated.

  4. HG I am married to a superior narc. I am and always will be (I believe) his primary source of fuel. 12 years on I know his cycle from the way he looks at me I know what will happen next. I have hope for him to change. As I am there round every corner to remind him of what he’s about to do.
    My question to you is do you honestly in your heart of hearts believe that you will never change?

  5. I chose never to marry. When I became pregnant I told father narc he had absolutely no responsibility if he didn’t plan on being the father our child deserved. He moved to Alaska two weeks later. I never pursued child support or have ever received one thin dime. I refused to put my daughter on the narc alter just so we could have a more comfortable life and then risk her being used as a weapon by him. There are far worse things than poverty and I do not believe pregnant = marriage.

  6. Valuable advice. Thank you. 🙂
    I was fortunate to not have a child with the narcissist ex husband, but I’m still a part of his youngest daughter’s life after the divorce. Her mother died when she was only a toddler, and I could not leave her. It has been the most difficult thing I have ever experienced. I maintain only very limited contact, text message only regarding anything of importance to her. I don’t insult him in front of her, simply try to teach her ways to better cope with him because she has to. She’s a teenager now, and yes, it’s evident to see her making up her own mind, accepting what she adores about him, totally avoiding what she hates, and fluffing his ego when she needs something from him. If my house is where she finds peace and can relax and just be a kid, my door is always open to her.
    But it’s interesting to me, HG, that I first learned from her what was wrong with him. In the midst of the chaos it was through watching her behavior toward her father that I began to “get” that she saw long before I did how to get her needs met by him.

  7. Dear Mr Tudor,
    All my life, my mother told me she never wanted to have children (that would be me). Treated me like I never existed!
    She loves her cats! She cried over her dying cat more, than when my manipulatuve step dad died ….. meow ! 🙀
    My ex narcissist friend has many adult children. When I first went to his house, there were only photos of one child, (the golden child) I asked … “only got the one child? He replied … “oh no there’s lots more” …. he said he doesn’t get on with the rest because they all have issues! 🤥🤥
    Soooo ….. no photos of them! Narcissists and parenting …. very sad 😥
    Thankyou

    1. Both my children know their father is a narcissist, both have no contact with him . I’ve warned them to be prepared for his return once the new supply one day leaves . They do not call him dad. They are both young adults and have suffered emotionally and physically from the low life . Whatever your reasons are HG I’m pleased you don’t want children in your life .

  8. Just what I needed tonight. There will be children spared what you endured by the work you do here. Thank you.

  9. Great article and 100% spot on. The examples given are familiar and spark childhood memories. Although loved and well looked after, I was definitely a pawn. Glad that my parents are still together. My sibling isn’t and often wishes for a different outcome.

    It is quite curious that I have always been very good friends with my narcissistic parent and we have a certain unspoken understanding and respect for each other. The narcissistic parent also accepts my guidance and advice, but not my sibling’s nor my super-empath parent’s. And no, I am not the favourite child either.

  10. I’m broken-hearted and furious. Nowhere until now are you advised to leave people behind when there is a problem but you have to fight, fight so hard to protect your health and happiness
    I hate my parents. I pray for news they’re dead. They are appalling cheats who took the easy way in life.
    They deserve to be miserable and alone. That is the punishment for not being as strong as I am in the face of abuse.

      1. They get in the way so I chose not to have them. I do not understand children and see them as an unwelcome diversion.

      2. you couldn’t be a sexual Olympian to your primary sources with children, you’d be stuck paying child support, you’d be stuck unable to discard them at your whim… good point.

        too bad the narc ex I tangled with saw things different. I don’t regret my child, never will, yet I do know it made things a lot more complex then they could have been and how said child came to be. And it hurt said child which on hindsight I would have prevented had I known then what I know now.

        Too many narcs see it as a way to ensnare a more permanent source of fuel :/ and prolong a target’s fuel via the children…

      3. Thanks for bringing awareness to the rest of us.

        //”They get in the way so I chose not to have them. I do not understand children and see them as an unwelcome diversion.”//

        This would be an expected mind setting coming from a narc.
        BUT, if a narc father after years of court battles, having sole custody of a 12 year old, manages to brain wash and alienate the child in to despising and not wanting to see the mother at all, what is that for?

        I would say him being a “middle class” narc that sometimes becomes a lesser. Separated since the birth of the child and no contact since 18 months. I no longer have any contact with my daughter so I can’t exercise any positive influence.

        I have resisted to engage (giving away fuel) with the narc for the past two years. I blocked him on my phone and put a contact person in the CC in the emails (before I even knew about narcs). He stopped emailing me all together last spring and I have not yet questioned this new situation with my daughter. So.

        Would you assume this is to try to erase me from the child’s memory/history since I’m a threat and since there’s a new/..new woman/mom? Or rather, an attempt to provoke me in to action and new battles to draw fuel?

        I would really appreciate your perspective, since him wanting to create a knee-jerk pawn that does everything he says, a numbed, life force drained child that has cut off h*r inner persona, would at the same time cut off his premium fuel, wouldn’t it? Could it be more about imagined thought fuel from me?

        Want to understand more abut the fuel dynamics in this scenario and thus how to proceed, if at all.

        Thanks!

  11. In the past, I dated a narcissist. He had two daughters that lived at his house one week at a time, alternating weeks with his ex. Soon after their divorce, his ex wife had bashed him for allowing various women to sleep over while the kids were there because he was not setting a good example for the young girls. So, years down the road, if he was seriously dating a woman, she’d be allowed to sleep over while the children were there. He insisted that he and girlfriend were fully clothed, each had their own blanket, slept laying across the end of the bed, not facing each other, bedroom door open, with lights on outside the bedroom. I inquired why he demanded these arrangements. He said his ex had made comments and he did not want his daughters to think he was having sex out of wedlock. I told him the kids (teenagers) were not concerned about his sex life and who cares what the ex thinks. She had immediately remarried after their divorce. He got extremely mad and said I could sleep in the back room when the kids were there. LOL
    In the middle of the night after the kids were sleeping, he would shut the door and wake me up for sex. Then all the clothes went back on and the door would be opened again.

  12. I would also like to say that I am sorry you were treated the way you were by matrinarc, HG.

    You may or may not undo said wounding/damage – because even if you see no reason to change, that is a major wound/major damage she has done to you – but either way I find it sad that you’ve had that childhood. I believe strongly that things happen for a reason and I think your blog and books are helping countless people at this point.

  13. very accurate HG.

    my advice: there is no protecting the children.

    I tried and ended up with a child who learned to show no emotions, is borderline depressed, clings to me out of emotional trauma at an age when independence should be a sure thing, is completely insecure and confused. I stayed because I had no other choice for various reasons and in doing so I tried to protect said child from “daddynarc”.

    some days said child shows strong empathic traits to others around (less and less but I hope they’re still there under the surface), other days said child shows no emotions at all, other times I see strong narc traits that worry me completely.

    All you can do is hope that you can teach them the opposite of what the narc is teaching them. That you can be the the sanity in the chaos brought on by the narc. That you can teach them to understand.

    You cannot protect them: you have to teach them to protect themselves at a young age, this is even more true if you have shared custody. The problem with this is that abuse escalate if you stand up to the abuser…
    I’ve had to step in often before we left “daddynarc” because although physically I could hold my own and the ex dared not touch me, he would get into our child’s face and there were many instances that worried me that the child would get hurt, especially during the rebellious teen years, when children stand up to parents and refuse to comply or put up with abuse. Thankfully, in my case, when I intervened, the narc ex would back off. He’d gotten what fuel he was going to get anyway. I paid the price in revenge abuse but it was the lesser price to pay as I could hold my own.

    court will not protect them unless you have absolute proof that the narc abused the children and even then if the narc complies with courts and tell them what they wish to hear, they will regain access to the children.

    You have to keep trying to remain the stable, loving, sane parent, though as you can see from HG, it is not always enough to prevent them becoming narcs.

    ***the best advice is to not have children with a narc*** (near impossible as that is one of the ways they hook you – I was tricked via the condom removal into becoming pregnant early in the golden period/romancing. Unfortunately for me, I am deathly allergic to birth control pills and he knew this. Told me, in his victim mind set – which I did not know of then, that it accidentally slipped off because he had no clue how to put it on properly. Then pushed and pushed to find out if I was pregnant. He did not want me to have time to see it was a trick / betrayal, time to think about it. He proposed shortly after, in a rush to ensnare me even more.

    If you find yourself pregnant, your best bet is to cut your loses, deny you are pregnant and run! cut your losses, completely. Go no contact and deny that the child is theirs if they find out.

    In a normal relationship what I am describing would be cruel that the children be kept from the other parent, but when it comes to a narc parent, sadly, it’s protecting your children.

    keep in mind that there is damage that cannot be undone. Children learn by example and if they grow up in a home with a narc parent, they grow up thinking this is normal / acceptable behavior. They will think abuse and misplaced entitlement is part of every day life and will carry this for their entire life. They may refuse / reject therapy / counseling in which case you have to try and discuss the abuse with them and try to take on the role of healer for your children, if they let you.

    Not being able to have children after that turned out to be a blessing in my case because there would be more then one child with severe childhood wounding. Yes that has been a source of guilt for a long time – having had a child and not running when I should have. I’ve forgiven myself because I didn’t know any better back then. If I had I would have done as above: denied being pregnant and run / cut contact.

    especially seeing how it affected what was a very cheerful, very outgoing and loving child up until 8 or 9 years of age when the truth began to become clear to that child. Some children do not forgive the empath parent for so many reasons. I have no clue if mine forgives me but I’ve devoted all I could to protect and heal, stabilize and teach… I am now left wondering if it was enough…

    1. I am going through a custody battle and the counselor and attorneys act like I should allow the narc more time with the kids. He lives an hour away and only has every other wkd. He wants them more wkds and more in the summer. Some say more time will open the kids eyes but it makes me nervous. Boundaries are a must I’ve learned so I’ve deff tried to be clear. I just keep fighting myself if allowing some extra time is good. I want them to see the truth but they are 10&12 and idk if they will. The counselor wants the 12 to tell his dad what bothers him and he’s scared to death to but then tells the judge he wants to live with him which I think it’s to please his dad. It’s so sad what the kids go through. You want to protect but it’s hard finding advice.

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