Going through a divorce is tough enough as it is, and co-parenting sabotage makes that uphill battle even steeper—even to the point where tying everything together seems impossible.
Co-parenting sabotage is a huge challenge in itself: even the sweetest of kids aren’t immune to a parent doing everything in their power to peg the other as the bad guy, and sometimes people will fail to hear both sides of the story.
A toxic ex can give you a run for your money in more ways than you can imagine, so here are some handy tips on dealing with an ex trying to turn your little ones against you:
Keep it Positive
In tense situations like this, it’s advisable to not give in to the temptation of trading blows with your ex by trying to turn your kids against them.
Always remember that your kids are your top priority, and this is a chance for you to show that you can keep your composure while putting them first. It may seem impossible, but it can be done by only saying positive things about your ex, or not talking about them at all.
A crucial time like this is an opportunity to grow and foster your relationship with your kids. Ask them about their aspirations, their friends, and what they want to do in life. It’s advisable to steer clear of any topic related to your ex. Don’t give in to the temptation of asking your kids what your ex has been saying about you. Remember: this is a time to stay positive and a time that will make a difference in how your kids will see and remember you both.
Prove Your Ex Wrong
When your ex says one bad thing about you, prove them wrong by doing the opposite. With this period being a critical time, always remember to show your kids that you are someone they can trust and rely on. Schedule time with them, don’t break your promises, avoid showing up late, and show them you love them in any way you can.
Keep your ex out of your head and focus on your relationship with your kids by showing them that you’re doing your best as their parent. A phone call to check up on them, a text telling them you love them, or even a funny selfie to cheer them up on bad days will go a long way towards keeping your relationship with them strong.
Limit Communication With Your Ex
Staying in touch with a hostile ex can add fuel to the fire, so it’s best to limit communication as much as you can. Limit your topics to logistics like scheduling, appointments, and pick-up times for your kids. Do it over text and email as much as possible, rather than on the phone or in person. If you talk to your ex in person, there’s a huge chance you’ll say something you’ll regret; but, if they’re hostile towards you over a text or email, you’ll be able to take time to cool down before sending a response.
Cut Down on Shared Time with Your Kids
On some occasions, the times that you and your ex will want to be with your kids may overlap, whether it’s birthday parties, soccer games, dance recitals, or prom night. If you and your ex can’t be civil at these functions, you’re going to have to cut down on shared time and split up your visitations between these events. Watching you and your ex get hostile towards each other will hurt your kids in the long run, so this is a sacrifice you’ll have to make.
Involve Your Kids
A divorce can also be really stressful for your kids. Having an ex who’s going out of their way to turn them against you is bound to make them even more confused and tense. Always make sure to lighten the mood when you hang out with your kids. Ask them what they want to do, where they want to go, or what new thing they want to learn. Make your time with them easy and fun. The last thing you want to do is to add to the burdens they’re carrying on their little shoulders. However, this doesn’t mean letting them get away with things. Don’t get soft on them, as this might allow them to take advantage of you, but let them help make decisions when it comes to your plans.
Don’t Play Good Cop
Even though it’s important to have fun with your kids, it’s never a good idea to throw rules out the window in an attempt to gain their favor, because this can lead to lots of issues down the line. Letting them get away with anything is a great way to ensure they won’t listen to or respect you in the long run. Remember to stand your ground when you need to because they’ll need it more than you do. Playing good cop may be a tempting invitation, but raising good kids with values and proper manners is a priority.
When it comes to co-parenting sabotage, more often than not, your ex will do anything they can to leave you out of the loop when it comes to important things. You might not hear about special events going on in your kids lives because of this. In order to stay ahead, get in touch with important people in order to get the right information and be kept up to date, and tell them to email you about anything you need to be aware of.
Don’t Let Co-parenting Sabotage Defeat You
Co-parenting sabotage is the ultimate test of your willpower and dedication to being the best parent you can possibly be to your kids. At this stage, your ex will want to turn your kids against you and get inside of your head, but it’s important to keep your focus on your children and yourself. Try to distract yourself with a hobby like boxing, going to the gym, reading, or even painting! The best revenge is one that not only allows you to make your kids happy, but allows you to be happy as well.
Dealing with co-parenting sabotage that’s far out of your control? Seek out professional help for professional solutions from Buckley Family Law. Contact us and we’ll guide you on what steps to take to overcome a bad situation with good decisions today!
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