You can't co parent with a narcissist because they counter parent. So you'll have to move silently, without telling anyone, into parallel parenting.
And a huge part of this will be creating your very best, most peaceful, calm, engaged, loving home life possible for you and your children.
Here's what you can do on your time, to help protect your children from the harm they'll experience in their other home.
1- Get them into therapy asap. Preferably before you leave, so you can show a history of it being needed (most narcissists will fight against therapy or make it very difficult for children to attend.)
2- Teach them the difference between secrets (bad) and surprises (good). Healthy adults will never expect children to keep secrets.
3- Teach them young, how to think critically irrespective of what they are being told and by whom. This will be invaluable for living with a pathological liar and manipulator and also be an invaluable life skill.
4- Teach children to advocate for themselves. To speak up. This may be painful for quieter children. Martial arts is a great venue for this.
5- Talk about feelings, a lot, and often, daily. Keep it simple.
6- Teach them to pay attention to how people make them feel.
7- Teach them to pay attention to what people say versus what they do. Words not matching actions is manipulation.
8- Use friendships to model healthy versus unhealthy relationship dynamics. You can use this as a gateway to talk about abuse without ever having to disparage their abusive parent.
9- Talk about abuse in general and the various nuanced ways people abuse- it’s often times not physical or even raised voices. Movies are great for this as topic openers.
10- When children come to you with what is going on in the other house, be careful what you decide to relay back to the other home. Children will be punished for telling you and will stop confiding in you.
11- Be PROACTIVE. Start before it becomes too large an issue to remedy. Hesitation on your part can have massive repercussions.
12-The most important point: create a home-life that is respectful, fair, calm, unconditionally loving, accepting, peaceful, a place your children can seek refuge from, and feel safe and seen in.
Remember: children just need one healthy parent to thrive.
You are that parent for your children.💛