Do You Do find yourself doing any of the following? If so then you are most likely the toxic parent in the shared parenting relationship and will need to change things.
- Try and make your children choose between your ex and you?
- Withhold access because child support has not been paid? Basically, hold your child hostage?
- Ask your child questions about the other parent’s lifestyle, activities or relationships? You may think they don’t realise what you’re doing but they do. “I don’t like mummy/daddy asking me questions about daddy when I get home,” is a statement that has been uttered way too many times.
- Discuss your personal problems with your child or with someone else but in their presence?
- Make promises you don’t keep. If you cannot make it, let them know. If you cannot deliver, let them know. That hurts much less than consistent disappointment.
- Argue with the other parent in front of your child?
- Put down the other parent in front of your child?
- Physically harm, hurt the other parent in front of your child?
- Use your child as a messenger or mediator? Or rely on him/her to solve issues between you and your ex?
Well if you answered yes to any of the above questions then be aware that you are indeed not doing your child any good, to put it mildly.
Actually, I don’t know why I am trying to put it mildly, I will just say it as it is. You, I’m afraid, are harming your child!
No one sets out to be the unreasonable or toxic parent. I know that divorce can and does bring out the worst in people.
Problem is, when there are children and these super negative emotions override any common sense, empathy, sympathy etc that you may have previously held and you are consumed by thoughts of how to make your ex’s life hell, you are also hurting your little ones.
I’m an ardent believer in both parents remaining in their children’s lives post-divorce. That right there is the greatest gift that you can give your children when you separate. Unless of course there are other serious underlying issues that make it impossible or dangerous for the children to spend time with the other parent.
If you are doing any of the above, please stop. It’s not fair on them and only you are benefiting from those actions, if at all.
If you are struggling to share parenting with your ex please do give me a call 07850 85 60 66 or email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Take advantage of my 30 min complimentary session because, really, sometimes that’s all it takes.
How are you handling your co-parenting? I would love to know.
Soila is the founder of The Divorce Magazine and creator of the online course – Helping Children Cope with Divorce
She is known for taking away the pain of trauma and loss in children, adolescents and their families.
Soila holds an MSc in Psychoanalytic Developmental Psychology from UCL (University College London), is an accredited Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) practitioner and a trained Family Mediator.
Soila is Graduate Member of the British Psychological Society.
You can contact her on 07850 85 60 66 or via email email@example.com