The Co-Parenting Abuse List
Co-Parenting Abuse by a Narcissist

Co-Parenting Abuse: 

Tactics of the Narcissist

By author Grace W. Wroldson

*** Books available on Amazon ***

Co-Parenting with a Narcissist: 7 Self-Rules to Stay Sane

How-To Fight a Narcissist in Family Court and Win: Super-Smart Strategies for Success

Co-Parenting with a Sociopath: Survival and Sanity Guide


Narcissistic Co-Parenting Abuse

If you are unfortunate to be deemed “the enemy” or the target of blame by a narcissistic co-parent, you may experience many of these tactics which are what I call, “Co-Parenting Abuse.” Narcissists tend to use a range of covert and overt tactics to manipulate you and others. This is post-separation abuse and is often called domestic violence abuse by proxy. If someone does something by proxy, they arrange for someone else to do things for them. 

*Before you begin, please read my “Disclaimer” below. I also want to issue a “Trigger Warning.” As you read this list, it might bring up some PTSD. I had to write this list down in small doses after I had overcome the abuse. Be mindful that you may need to take a break from reading and practice self-care. I believe that the truth can set us free, so identifying the truth helped to set my mind free of the confusion I had before I caught on to what was being done to me.

Use This List to Label and Take Control of Your Situation

You can use this list when you are triggered and need to understand what’s happening. I believe we get triggered for a reason. You can look through this list and circle what applies. It’s important for you to identify the tactics being used and learn to counter them or learn to ignore them. The key to not being triggered by these tactics is to decide ahead of time how you will handle these things emotionally and strategically. Preparation is key. Labeling the abuse tactic being used on us helps it lose its power over us. We empower ourselves when we know what’s happening. This list is strictly for your information only and not to be shared with the narcissist/abuser. It’s for your understanding ONLY.

KEY: Decide Ahead of Time to Not Be Triggered

For your sanity, tap into the power to remain at peace. If you let them upset you, you have given away your power. This in turn grants them control over you. When you aren’t protecting your need for peace, you are like a puppet — reacting to every string they pull. So, decide ahead of time that you are going to stay in peace, and you will tap into the power to remain calm. Stop telling yourself that you can’t help it. Have a made-up mind that you are not going to let the narcissist ruin your day/week/month/year/life. You are in control. . .  when you take control. Narcissists can’t make you feel frustrated. It becomes a choice when you make this decision to stay in peace ahead of time. Letting these tactics upset you gives away your power. Have a new resolve to handle the inevitable problems calmly and choose to stay in peace. This will disconnect your triggers and buttons.

(READ Blog: Co-Parenting Abuse When Dealing with a Narcissist)

How To Stop Losing Your Power

The bottom line is: Narcissists win by destabilizing the target. Know the tactic being used against you and you can effectively create a technique to counter it or minimize the damage. One way they effectively destabilize a target is by causing you to question all you do. Recognize that if you do not recall a situation that your abuser is bringing up, chances are that it was made up by the abuser. Know the tactic, and the tactic loses its power to throw you off balance. Knowledge is power! Be armed with this knowledge.


List of Narcissistic/Sociopathic Tactics

Here is a list of co-parenting abuse tactics that may be used against you. All of these dirty tricks have been done to me, so I can tell you that each one triggered me and left a memorable scar. If you need help naming, labeling, and identifying the tactic—set up a strategy session with me. 


Co-Parenting Abuse Tactics 




Lying by omission

Telling half-truths

Misleading statements

Bringing up triggering topics


Word salad

Altering the past

Narrating false stories

Circular conversations


Never-ending Arguments

Tricking you into chaos

Falsifying details

Making misleading statements

Isolating you

Targeting you

Financial abuse

Withholding money

Hiding money

Ruining your credit


Legal abuse

Using the court against you

Filing repeated motions

Engaging in corruption



Minimizing you

Intruding on your privacy

Diverting blame or guilt

Deflecting from their guilt

Making inappropriate restrictions


Justifying themselves/actions

Black and white thinking

All or nothing thinking

Being passive-aggressive

Emotional abuse

Psychological abuse

Physical abuse

Sexual abuse

Verbal abuse

Deliberately triggering you

Doing the opposite you requested

Opposite parenting you

Counter parenting you

Nit-picking your parenting

Bragging in front of you

Invading your personal space

Isolating you from support systems: friends and family

Obnoxiously disagreeing

Starting rumors

False promises

Faking agreement

Faking cooperation

Taking emotional hostages

Other criminal behavior

Using flying monkeys

Making minions

Creating negative advocates

Setting you up for failure

Making false allegations

False accusations

Phishing for info

Baiting you

Catching you off guard

Making derogatory comments

Defamation of character

Brainwashing children against you

Alienating your child from you

Spreading rumors

Starting rumors

Derogatory remarks


Silent treatment

Hooking you into arguing

Poisoning-the-well tactic

Convincing others to be against you


Insinuating blame

Guilt-tripping you

Vilifying you

Feigning confusion 

Feigning innocence

Playing the victim

Evading responsibility

Amplifying their roll

Hurt and rescue




Violating court orders

Breaking agreements

Breaking the law

Saying one thing/doing another

Being hypocritical

Mistreating of things/possessions

Hacking your computer

Breaking and entering

Destroying property

Damaging your vehicle

Accusing you of fraud

Accusing you of crimes

Making jokes at your expense

Lashing out

Ignoring personal boundaries

Pointing out your flaws in public settings

Devaluing your efforts

Unwarranted cruelty

Making fun of your life

Belittling you

Digging for dirt on you

Spying on you

Undermining you

Pity plays

Parading new partners

Criticizing you

Manufacturing false evidence

Bombard you with messages, calls, texts, attacks, or claims

Discouraging comments

Complaining about you

Dismissing your importance

Amplifying their roll

Attacking your character

Discrediting you

Threatening court

Threatening law enforcement

Threatening to take the children

Threatening harm

Negative comments

Making subtle slights

False promises

Throwing out insults




Domestic violence


Intimidating you

Angry outbursts


Creating chaos


Setting up traps

Tricking you




Dismissing you

Diminishing your roll

Moving the goal post

Emotional blackmail

Shaming you

Invalidating you

Brainwashing kids


Alienating you from kids

Holding children hostage

Charging you with offenses that you didn’t commit

Putting the children in harm’s way

Abusing the children

Hurting the children

Neglecting the children


Falsifying documents

Telling the kids to say something triggering to you

Accusing you of mental instability

Incessant questioning

Plotting against you

Ruining your reputation

Coercive Control

Weaponizing the child

Holding the kids hostage

Kidnapping the kids

Scare tactics

Divide and conquer


Get the Help You Need

See several abusive things happening in your custody situation? If you are suffering from this type of co-parenting abuse, you will need help. Please reach out to crisis support/domestic violence agencies and professionals to gather the team you need to overcome this. Getting help is a sign of strength and a smart thing to do. If you can’t be tricked, bullied, and isolated, you stand a solid chance of surviving this abuse. Learn to stay stable, sane, supported, smart, and serene—it’s the equivalent of being cool, calm, and collected. 

Employ Survival Strategies

To not be viewed as the enemy by the narcissist is a key survival strategy. Typically, an angry narcissist needs a target of blame. So, you can learn to be skillful and divert the blame away from you and your child. To learn more, pick up my books with valuable lessons. Read, as I outline my mindset shifts to gain insight and validation. Utilize my survivor wisdom and gain tips, tools, and strategies to zig-zag away from the hooks and traps. Your goal can be to minimize the damage, stop the harm, and create fewer reasons for you to be narcissistically abused as a co-parent. You also can be creating boundaries, buffers, firewalls, and layers of protection for you and your child while you read my story and gain insight. While there are times, occasions, and circumstances to report, file claims, make motions to the courts, there are also times/ways to create peace and stability. Learn ways to create peaceful co-parenting with a narcissist even if you have to parallel parent instead. 

—Grace W. Wroldson, mother, author, survivor, and thriver of 5 self-help books available on Amazon

If you found this helpful, please support this self-published, self-help author who provides free resources to women and mothers. Get access to exclusive blogs, podcasts, webinars, and video trainings for as little as $1-$5 per month by donating on Patreon. DONATE HERE!


Join my private Facebook Group!

Co-Parenting with a Narcissist Support Group for Moms

Book a private coaching session with the author. Click Here.

Books available on Amazon and Audible!  

Read my books:

  1. Co-Parenting with a Narcissist: 7 Self-Rules to Stay Sane (A Survivor’s Story)
  2. How-To Fight a Narcissist in Family Court and Win: Super-Smart Strategies for Success
  3.  Co-Parenting with a Sociopath: Survival and Sanity Guide

Stay in touch! Get my FREE tips, tools, and strategies—plus valuable survivor wisdom!



*Disclaimer: This is meant for self-study only and is based solely on the author’s thoughts and opinions. The author is not a qualified mental health professional nor a crisis caseworker. She cannot give legal advice or appropriate counsel and is therefore not liable for any injury or harm. Please follow your doctor’s, therapist’s, counselor’s, and lawyer’s advice, as well as your own good common sense and intuition based on your unique case—to see if identifying these tactics could be helpful. Child custody situations may vary where some of these will not be applicable for your circumstance. Naming these to the abuser (confrontation) is not advised. Furthermore, court orders may dictate that you do not diagnose, label, or make claims about the other parent, and doing so often can hurt your case. This is for your information only. Please use your own good judgment when reviewing this document. This list was created from the author’s own lived experience and not based on any domestic violence terminology, laws, or rules of the courts. This is copyright protected by the author and is not to be sold, distributed, or quoted without the author’s written consent.

Co-Parenting with a Narcissist Book by Grace Wroldson

Co-Parenting with a Narcissist Book by Grace Wroldson


Subscribe to my Blog

Buy Books

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This