The divorce process can be very challenging when you have to co-parent with a passive-aggressive parent. Some parents have a hard time accepting that their ex is in charge of the children part-time. Everyone knows that successful co-parenting means focusing on the kids at all times and in all situations. However, some exes just lack consideration and want to gain favor with the kids, and some are just lazy when it comes to disciplining the kids and setting boundaries. In some cases, they just want to punish you. Note that you are also capable of putting negative energy on your kids without realizing.
Characteristics of Passive Aggressive Parents
Characteristics of passive aggressive parents include:
- Silent treatment towards the other parent
- Intentional procrastination
- Pervasive sarcasm
- Sulking without a reason or when unhappy with a situation instead of talking about it
- Criticizing the other parent, especially in front of the children
- Intentionally getting late for appointments
You can’t engage in child custody battles every time there’s an infraction; not to mention that some pressing issues in passive-aggressive co-parenting are not enforceable by a court. Here’s how to overcome passive aggressive parenting:
1. Establish Boundaries
Putting the right structures in all settings around the home, school, and even community rules can give children a safe, predictable environment to prevent insidious psychological damage. The emotional roller coaster caused by passive aggressive parents trying to use children to hurt their exes can negatively affect a child’s healthy ego-development.
2. Preemptive Strike
Protect yourself and your children from the negative effects of passive aggressive parenting by addressing potential problems through effective communication before it becomes chronic. During the divorce settlement agreement, you can include a requirement for both parties to attend a co-parenting therapy or mediation should child-related issues arise after the judgment. You can also document the interference in writing and let your ex-partner know that the court will be involved in the problem persists.
3. Get comfortable with Difficult Conversations
You may find yourself being a passive aggressive parent if you keep avoiding tough conversations with your ex. Even though you are trying to avoid conflict, it’s not the same as solving important matters such as how children are to be raised in separate households. Children of passive aggressive parents will often take advantage of their parents’ estranged relationship to do whatever they want and could suffer from passive-aggressive personality disorder later in life.
4. Be Ready in the Event of a Battle
Even though some exes just want to offend you, be careful since some passive aggressive behaviors may shift to outright aggression. Understand that passive aggression is a hostile behavior that you need to avoid. If it turns into harassments, threats, or even physical and verbal abuse, ask for a restraining order against the passive-aggressive parent. It could also be a strategy they are using to build up a case to change the custodial arrangement. In this case, document the interference in writing, so you can use the evidence in court.
For Help in Handling a Case Against a Passive Aggressive Parent, Contact Experienced Family Law Attorneys in SLC
Winning with a passive aggressive parent can be challenging, and you should rather avoid playing their games entirely and find a solution. But at times, you need a family law attorney to help you address the problem from a legal standpoint. At Wall & Wall Attorneys at Law in Salt Lake City, Utah, we have helped several families deal with the aftermath of divorce while keeping in mind the interests of the children. Are you going through a divorce or facing child custody issues in Salt Lake City? Contact us today for a free consultation.