Q. My mother is a gaslighter and an incredibly skilled manipulative narcissist. I have recently decided to cut her from my life in pursuit of a happier healthier family of my own as she has become more dangerous given the attention cravings driven by isolation during lockdown. My question is how do I inform and protect my children? My mother has threatened to take me to court for access to my two children having failed at a recent attempt to take custody by undermining me as a fit parent. (via Tumblr)

A. Thank you for this question. It’s a delicate one, so I’ll do my best to address your issues with the advice that I believe will be the healthiest for your children, and the least damaging to their happiness and understanding.

First, congratulations on making the choice to clear your life of those who take more than they give. This is a great first step and the hardest. Stay strong and know that what you’re doing is right for you.

When it comes to your children, there’s no point in hiding things. They’re going to see you cry. They may see conflict or hear about it from other friends and family. So, the best thing to do is to explain it to them on a level they can understand.

No matter how young they are they can probably comprehend the basics of playground politics. Sometimes, best friends get upset with one another and they can’t be friends anymore. The same thing applies here. Although you love their grandmother — and they do too — sometimes adults get very hurt and upset with one another and they can’t be friends anymore.

Alongside this, you can explain any other necessities like new safety requirements, or things they should be aware of.

As your children get older, you can explain more of the situation to them (as age appropriate), but for now you can give them the basics and they will know you were honest and open with them in the right way.

Author | NLP-MP | I write about relationships, psychology, and growth. Founder @ The Dragr App. My new book — Relationship Renovator — is available now.

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