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How can you deal with negativity from a co-parent?

Co-parents often work together as a parenting team to raise the children. Most of the time, there’s not much tension between them. They just focus on the children and make the situation work.

Unfortunately, there are times when a co-parent can start badmouthing the other parent. This is a challenging situation to deal with because the children are caught in the middle. If you’re stuck in this dilemma, finding options for handling it might be a challenge.

Never return the negativity

Children need stability and knowing that their parents aren’t getting along won’t provide that. You shouldn’t return the negativity if you learn that your ex is bad-mouthing you. Instead, talk to the children about how people will sometimes say mean things when they’re angry. Use badmouthing as a springboard to discuss how words can make people feel bad.

Watch for parental alienation

There’s a chance that your ex is trying to drive a wedge between you and your children. If things escalate into the realm of parental alienation, you may have to take legal action to get it to stop. This is often difficult to prove so you should clearly document everything that’s happening just in case you need it.

One of the most important things you can do when you’re co-parenting is to have a solid parenting plan. This ensures both parties know what’s expected of them. Having conflict resolution standards and terms about what’s appropriate can help to prevent issues from occurring. Working with someone who’s familiar with parenting plans and how to fit the terms to the child’s needs is beneficial.