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Tips for co-parenting with a bully

On Behalf of | Dec 15, 2021 | Family Law

Did you divorce because your ex’s behavior involved putdowns, insults, insinuations that created drama and conflict? You may worry about co-parenting effectively in Indiana with such a toxic personality. According to Psychology Today, authoritarian parents make their children follow strict rules, set high expectations, and seldom offer emotional support. They use spanking and other physical forms of punishment to maintain control. Children who grow up in these conditions might struggle socially.

Bullying can take many forms, and if you must co-parent with a high-conflict ex, you can take steps that can actively manage the situation.

Focus on your child

Your ex may never change and trying to make them can take an emotional toll on you. The priority is acting in the best interest of your child, who learns by watching you. Be mindful of your actions and learn to express what is acceptable behavior and what is unacceptable. Make sure they know you love them and provide the support they need.

Communicate strategically

Bullies often send nasty emails and texts, unloading their negative emotions onto you. If you respond defensively or with anger or fear, they may continue their behavior. Do not engage. Wait until you can address the matter calmly and clearly. It will not necessarily make communicating with them easier, but it may give them fewer issues to fight about.

Stand your ground

When your ex communicates aggressively, stand your ground, do what you think is right and do not apologize. When you communicate with your ex, be brief, informative and friendly but firm. Removing the emotion makes it more difficult for them to manipulate you.

Depending on the situation, you may have grounds to modify the custody agreement. If their behavior escalates and becomes stalking or harassing, it might become criminal behavior. Understanding your legal options can help you protect your rights and your child’s.