with Sarah Kamoto – High Conflict Co-Parenting Coach
High conflict people seem to be follow certain patterns. It’s like a bootcamp of emotional intelligence when you’re dealing with high conflict parent.
Create that narc proof home, keep that person on the outside. They don’t enter your home. Energetically no longer physically,”
— – Sarah Kamoto, Empath & The Narcissist podcast Ep. 81 (listen below)
Listen to Podcast
Today I speak with Sarah Kamoto, a high conflict co-parenting coach on the podcast. Boy was she full of powerful information! I’ve provided the cliff notes below, however, the episode is well worth a listen.
There is hope
You can work on the things that are really necessary so that you become Narc proof, but not just that- And thriving. You can thrive in life despite having this person who you can’t go no contact with.
Yes, it takes work, determination, dedication, and promising yourself that you are not going to quit for you and your children.
Children do not have to suffer. You can shape their emotional intelligence on your end.
Emotional Strength is the foundation
In court you can’t go into it still being a wreck. You have to scrape up as much emotional strength and emotional energy, so that you are solid as a rock and grounded and ready. This doesn’t mean that you become a robot, it means you are ready for battle.
Custody court is a battle for your child’s wellness, and you cannot be derailed. You have to gather all your energy, evidence and emotional vigor.
Disconnect the Emotional Control
You need to keep the high conflict parent on the outside as much as possible, at arms length.
You can’t keep running in anxiety which is allowing cortisol levels rising and never come back down. This results in not being able to sleep, not being able to eat it, and more.
It’s not a way to function. It’s unsustainable.
The Legal Battle
In the ideal world, as soon as you leave, you have a plan of action in place; your strategy. Get your key people in place that are gonna support you, like finding the right lawyer and mediator, gather evidence, know what the judge is looking for. Do your research and stay vigilant.
Your legal battle could be a few years down the track, you may decide to file, or they may file. Have an informal parenting agreement in place from the get go. And this could work for some time. And that could work for a few years, depending on the age of the child, and as the child ages you will want to take things into your own hands or they narcissist sees them as their supply now and files for custody.
So strategize and be prepared and get everything down, get all the information you need for formal custody.
The Narcissist’s tactic is to keep you from filing. People who are stuck in fear and anxiety, don’t know where to turn because they just don’t yet have that clarity and the emotional space to think of a strategy because this person is monopolizing their time and their energy constantly.
They start fires that you have to put out in order for you to have no capacity to even think about doing anything, which is exactly the strategy.
Once you’re aware and you can actually keep them at arms length, then you can have time to think about “What is my next best step?”
And then take the next one. And the next one and the next one, but if you’re still in that fear cycle and worry, then you can’t really take any action. And unfortunately, you’re just gonna keep looping around and they’ll just keep eating away at you and keeping you in their control.
It always comes back to your inner strength, your self identity and your own self sovereignty.
Unless you have that for yourself or you’re at least on your journey to getting that you cannot support your children.
“When we know better, we do better.” There’s always something you can do when you have the awareness. That is why Sarah speaks out and tries to warn people to NOT leave it too late.
You have this awareness of abuse, you found information and her page @narc_proof_and_thriving on Instagram, and you know something isn’t right. Doesn’t matter exactly what it is, but you need to do something now when you’re ready, but don’t leave it too long. Your children are getting older. They’re exposed to this person. You need to parent a thousand times harder.
How can you safeguard your child from Narcissist if they are with them part time?
When they are with them part time, unfortunately they are exposed to the negative parenting style. That could be coercion, denigrating them, belittling them, trying to destroy your bond with the child, trying to turn your child against you. Or the alternative is the child is the golden child. So they are wrapped around the Narc parents’ little finger. They are spoiled and then snap, that parent will ignore them or call them names. And your child now develops unhealthy coping mechanisms to please the parent to stop their mistreatment, or they just don’t want to see that side of that parent.
And they keep them happy, unfortunately.
You can’t, as the healthy, safe parent, control what happens over there. You’re not a fly on the wall. You just need to be that safe container for your child, when they come back, have that relationship where they can come to you and talk about how they feel.
Your high conflict X will always give you opportunities to teach your children emotional intelligence.
If you can differentiate who you are from the other parent, that’s the sweet spot to be in. You don’t do the same as them. You are different how you speak, act, treat them, and energetically. Your goal is to be polar opposites to that parent.
More than likely your child may come back and say something or trigger you. And you automatically will react if you do not pause and find your awareness. You can take yourself away, regulate yourself and then come back.
It takes practice. It takes determination. It takes being intentional. But your child is worth that work.
Transition of custody
Children transition differently, depending on their age and personality. If they internalize and go quiet and shut down, or if they lash out and have tantrums, it’s usually in those transition periods where they have been at the other house. Understand where they are coming from and have compassion, they have been in an emotional pressure cooker.
They’re not allowed to be who they are at the narcissists house. So they come back to you and let loose. That’s a good sign, but you also need to know how to manage that and hold that space, be that safe container and help them manage those emotions because they have a parent who’s of that nature. They’re not old enough to understand what’s going.
And you need to equip them so that when the time comes, they can decide to limit their access or cut contact or whatever they want to do, but you need to fully inform them so it’s not a big shock when they turn 18.
How to raise your emotional vibration and be calm.
Grounding is the key.
The act of grounding, continually working on yourself, regulating yourself and managing your own emotions as best you can because, we, as the parents are their first teachers.
We have to set the example. But if you have no clue, then how can you expect them to?
How the Narcissist gets back at you.
When the Narcissist files for full custody it is always to hurt you. The narc or high conflict parent always requests 50/ 50, or even full custody. As ridiculous as it sounds, but yes, it’s to hurt you. It’s to punish you. It’s not because they care about the children. It’s not because they want to protect them. And usually even if they are granted 50/50, they are not the ones looking after the child, if they have new supply that person’s looking after the child.
Children are a unlimited source of narcissistic supply. So people have asked me in the past, like, why do they choose to have children? It is because they create a super fan whom they can control.
What to do when child asks questions?
The narcissist will fill their head with something, which is a lie. Then you are left with, “how do I defend myself?” “How do I tell the child the truth?” You must do it in a way that doesn’t bad mouth, the other parent. Otherwise you will be the same as the narcissist and will not be a safe sounding board for them.
For example, the other parent might say that “your mom stole you from me” or “took you away” or “kicked me out” whatever it may be.
So the other parent has then opened that can of worms. You have to pick up the pieces in the most healthy way for the child and in an age appropriate manner as well. So that you don’t, add to their confusion. Don’t avoid answering their questions, just do it where there is no blame placed.
For example “Sometimes people say things because they are hurt.” You do not say anyone specific, you teach them a concept, and increase their emotional intelligence around the mean comment.
Tips for the healthy parent, struggling with the narcissist turning your child against you
A lot of what will shine through to show you are not what the narcissist accuses you of is love, patience, wisdom, and communication being safe. Do not take the bait and stoop to their level. This confuses the child more, and the more cunning manipulative person will win in this battle. Love and light will conquer all over time.
In addition, there is no real tip because a tip is just something for a quick and an issue that can be easily fixed. This is something that has to be consistently applied.
You need to devise tools and strategies for all the years of their childhood.
If you don’t have boundaries in place, how can you teach your children to have boundaries? If you do not know how to manage your emotions, how can they manage their emotions? And they are going to need to have that anchor of a person to get them through this stronger.
2. Use movies and books to teach and give examples of these behaviors
3. Affirmation cards: “ I’m in charge of my body”
“ I’m beautiful.”
“ I’m friendly.”
“I speak up against bullies. ”
4. Asking your child to think for themselves rather than telling them because the other parent is telling. You need to drop those breadcrumbs so that they pick them up and they ask questions and you can explore that together.
Because they feel it already energetically, they’re safe with you. You are allowing them space to think, be their own person. You’re encouraging them. You feel safe to them.
5. Allow them to feel and tune into their bodies. I think kids are a lot more in tune with their bodies than adults are, but at the same time, we’ve been conditioned from childhood to ignore what we’re feeling. Hold space and allow them to feel those uncomfortable feelings in a safe space and in safe ways.
6. Think about all the things you wish you’d had known before you ended up in this situation. All those things is what you then need to teach your children.
7. Find somewhere neutral where you don’t have to have them come in your safe place either. Shield off the energy of your home and let your child know they are not allowed in your home, so they physically and energetically have the safe space of your home.
Establishing boundaries with your child as well, so that you don’t just let them get away with everything just because you feel bad or guilty for the fact that you chose a parent who was not ideal.
You cannot act in guilt and giving, and bending over backwards for children either.
Your New Mindset for Thriving
So it’s a lot of those things mentioned above to guide your child to thrive despite their narcissistic parent. And you have to have the capacity emotionally to do that.
Improve yourself for yourself. And then you can then support your children. You can’t support your children if you’re still dysregulated and running in fear.
“You will end up getting hurt and you will end up being dissatisfied with the outcomes that you’re getting.”
Keep the narc at arms length, keep them out of your mind, your home, your space. Cause you need that so that you have the clarity to focus on what’s important, which is your children and which is you.
“Shift in your mindset that they don’t have any power unless you give it to them.”
A lot of people struggle with how to communicate and worry about what’s the right thing to say, and what’s gonna come back on me if we go to court. But when you know how to deal with them, when you know their patterns, it becomes very easy to sort and, and sift through their coercion. And that requires a response of non response.
Disengage. Grey Rock. They may continue to email you, but it’s just documentation. You file it away. Ready for the day that’s notably gonna come when you need it.
If you can get to the place where you can see your situation from a bird’s eye view or from a third person, that is the best place to be in. Because you detach emotionally from the outcome you detach emotionally from being so close to the situation, then you’re able to make better decisions.
Remember to stay safe, gather your evidence, and do not give them or anyone reason to believe you are causing anything due to your reactions.
~Keep your unique light shining
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If you wish to get to know the guest of the podcast Sarah Kamoto more. Learn more here. :
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