Some relationships aren’t meant to last. It does not mean either partner is a horrible human being, but it does mean that you didn’t function together properly as a unit. It makes sense that the same is true for many marriages and parenting relationships.
However, there are circumstances where one partner starts to exhibit toxic behavior that ruins the relationship as a whole. They may even go as far as to exhibit these behaviors to your child.
But what can you do about it?
If you are no longer in a romantic relationship with your co-parent, there are still ways to work together and avoid toxicity around your children:
- Avoid negative talk – it’s important not to paint a negative portrait of your co-parent to your child. It will only create more tension and resentment from your former partner. It may also cause emotional turmoil for your kid if they feel torn between their parents.
- Spot your ex’s triggers – Many toxic partners rely on specific triggers to provoke negative reactions. If you can identify these triggers early on, you can avoid them and make it easier for you to communicate.
- Use collaborative decision-making – While you may not like your co-parent, you have to respect them enough to gather input on your child’s wellbeing. Involve them in major decisions to ensure that all concerns and suggestions are considered.
- Respect your child’s relationship with their parent – The hardest tip is to understand that you cannot get in the way of the relationship between your co-parent and your kid. It’s hard, especially if you notice a toxic mentality. But be encouraging until it’s time to make a drastic change.
If you believe that your co-parent is endangering or disturbing your child’s wellbeing, you may want to consider seeking primary custody or modifying a child custody order to make sure your child is getting the best treatment for their interests.