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.
- Stop Being a Victim
- Be the Adult Your Child Needs
- Your Child Knows More Than You Think They Do
- It Takes Two to Tango
- Know When to Call Your Lawyer and When to Let It Go
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
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.
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.
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.
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.