Almost every parent says that they would do anything for their child. But somehow, this selfless
mindset is lost when dealing with a difficult co-parent. Whether the relationship with the co-parent
ended in a divorce, difficult break-up, or perhaps never even existed at all, several facts remain.
Here are the hard truths of dealing with a difficult co-parent.

  1. Stop Being a Victim
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    a. Yes, you may have a co-parent that sucks. Whether they’re a deadbeat dad, drugged up
    mess, selfish narcissist, or MIA, they are still your child’s parent. Which means you will
    have to deal with them for at least the next 18+ years. The sooner you accept the fact
    that you must find a way to successfully co-parent, the better off you and your child will

  3. Be the Adult Your Child Needs
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    a. In other words, take the high road. Trust us, your child will appreciate it someday. Even
    if you are dealing with Satan in the flesh, do not lower yourself to their level in any way.
    Communicate as though you are dealing with a rational, intelligent person (even if we all
    know they are not). The only thing that’s worse than a horrible, selfish, irrational parent,
    is two of them.

  5. Your Child Knows More Than You Think They Do
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    a. It does not matter how young your kid is—they see and hear EVERYTHING. Even if you
    technically don’t talk smack about their idiot parent in front of them, they can tell when
    you just got done talking about them. Although children can’t articulate what exactly is
    going on, they are extremely perceptive and can tell when something isn’t right. Do not
    do this to your child. Whether you like it or not, your child is half you and half your co-
    parent. Period. So when you say something negative about their parent, you are
    tangentially telling your child you don’t like a part of them. This is the single most
    destructive thing you can do to your child emotionally. Say nothing but positive things
    about your co-parent. After all, you love your child—not just half of them.

  7. It Takes Two to Tango
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    a. Countless studies show that children need both of their parents. Can children be raised
    successfully by one parent? Yes- it can and has been done. But it is always better to try
    raising a child with both parents. Don’t cut out your child’s other parent simply because
    it’s difficult for y’all to get along. Too many children don’t have a voice in whether they
    have both of their parents—whether a parent died or due to other circumstances—so
    don’t you be the reason your child loses a parent.

  9. Know When to Call Your Lawyer and When to Let It Go
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    a. If you call your lawyer every single time your co-parent irritates you, you will not only
    receive a lengthy bill but more importantly, will drive yourself crazy. However, there are
    times where you do need to call your lawyer—like when there is a dangerous situation,
    or you are being denied visitation. In other words, most problems are not as serious as
    they initially appear, so save your sanity and wallet unnecessary pain by limiting calling
    your attorney to serious issues.

    At the end of the day, the courts ultimately care about the best interest of the child. In Texas,
    the courts’ main job is to make sure that the child is being taken care of. In other words, there is no
    abuse or neglect. Yes, it may infuriate you that your co-parent signed your kid up for a sport that
    plays/practices on your weekend or designated time. Even if the situation affects your weekends with
    your child just remember: this is a small problem on the grand scale of problems the courts see.