Is Your Coparent Keeping Your Child Safe?
Irresponsible exes usually make co-parenting a tough task. They make it hard for children to relate with their parents safely and securely. The following are tips to help a parent dealing with an unreliable or irresponsible ex-spouse keep his or her children feeling safe and secure.
Complying with the Custody Order
A parent should avoid getting into a revenge situation. If the ex-spouse holds on to children during the other parent’s parenting time, he or she shouldn’t seek revenge by holding on to them during the ex’s time or cutting child support. Instead, he or she should document the issue in an email and state the section in the custody order that the ex-spouse is breaching. The other parent should then request maximum cooperation and adherence to the custody agreement. The other parent should also make the intentions of involving an attorney clear should the ex-spouse continue disobeying the agreement.
Avoiding Spilling Frustrations to the Children
After a divorce, an ex may try to trigger a reaction from the other parent by behaving irresponsibly. The parent shouldn’t fall into that trap. Instead, the parent should note when he or she is feeling triggered and try to avoid outbursts in the presence of children. Working out, keeping a journal, and talking to a therapist are some of the ways that a parent stuck with an irresponsible ex can keep his or her emotions in control.
Acknowledging the Problem Properly
A parent may need to discuss with the children regarding their other parent’s challenges, especially when co-parenting with an addict. The parent should recognize how his or her ex’s addiction makes the children feel, but shouldn’t defame the other parent. He or she should talk to the kids about what is within their control and what is beyond their control.
Setting Healthy Boundaries
While setting and maintaining boundaries with a person who repeatedly ignores them is annoying, it’s the right thing to do. Irresponsible exes need to understand that they can’t change the timeshare haphazardly, show up unannounced, or disrupt family time with lengthy calls. They should also know that they can’t play around with parental responsibilities like paying child support. A responsible parent should communicate with the irresponsible parent and explain to him or her in writing the repercussions of this repeated behavior. Focusing on the facts when communicating with an ex is a smart idea.
Parenting with Empathy
Co-parenting with someone unreliable or irresponsible comes with lots of drama. A parent should try his or her best to think about the child to avoid getting trapped in this drama. Parenting with empathy involves prioritizing the child’s best interests when making crucial decisions.
Teaching Healthy Habits
A parent stuck with an unreliable ex should try his or her level best to impart healthy habits to his or her children. At a young age, children can be taught why washing their hands regularly is important and how to do it correctly. As they grow older, they can be taught basic first-aid skills. Having the ability to perform basic medical tasks, such as cleaning scrapes and using band-aids, enables a child to correctly handle his or her minor injuries in the event of a bite by a dangerous dog.
Establishing a Plan for Dealing with Medical-Related Decisions
Co-parents should have a sound plan for dealing with their children’s medical-related decisions and payments. If both parents share the duty of making medical-related decisions on the child’s behalf, they should find a safe method of sharing any crucial information, including insurance information, medical history, incident reports, and prescription details. This information should be updated regularly and added to the parenting plan. That way, either parent will know the right steps to take in case the child requires medical assistance due to an illness or an injury caused by a car accident.