Quantcast
A Guide To Co-Parenting With A Toxic Parent (Without Losing Your Mind)

A Guide To Co-Parenting With A Toxic Parent (Without Losing Your Mind)

You can't wish this person out of your life or change the past, so it's best to deal with it.

Motherhood

Co-parenting after the relationship is over can be difficult and take years to master. In a perfect world, there's a compromise, active listening, and healthy rules of engagement. But, when you're dealing with an irate person, the simplest decision can wreak havoc. You can't wish this person out of your life or change the past, so it's best to deal with it:

How to Tell Your Dealing With A Toxic Person

media.giphy.com

A "toxic parent" is often defined as narcissistic, mentally ill, abusive, emotionally immature, or someone having alcoholic or addiction issues. You cannot co-parent with a narcissist or someone dealing with their issues. Co-parenting requires shared effort and shared intent. No amount of flexibility will completely shift the narrative unless the other person wants to. Here's why:

  • They do not share the same goals as you.
  • They cannot and do not put the child's best interest before their own.
  • They minimize, deny, or shift blame.
  • They try to intimidate or isolate you or the children.
  • They exhibit signs of parental alienation, which is the process and the result of psychological manipulation of a child into showing unwarranted fear, disrespect or hostility towards a parent, relative or others.

Sans children, the obvious decision would be to cut all ties and never look back. Unfortunately, that's not always an option. And in the majority of cases, kids are better off having a relationship with both biological parents. So when your ex happens to be toxic or narcissistic, parallel parenting may be your only choice.

What Is Parallel Parenting?

According to Psychology Today, parallel parenting is an arrangement in which exes can co-parent through disengaging from each other and having limited direct contact in situations where they have demonstrated that they are unable to communicate with each other respectfully.

One of the biggest differences between co-parenting and parallel parenting is when co-parenting, you maintain a relationship with your ex. Some strive to have a real friendship, while others simply stay civil with one another and communicate regularly about their children. If only the other person was built for that!

Disengaging doesn't have to be a final decision. It can exist for some time while the dust settles between you and your ex, allowing both of you to heal from old wounds. Ultimately, it comes down to agreeing on such an arrangement and figuring out how you'll handle major decisions and their day-to-day routine. Most important, parallel parenting makes clear that both parents are equally important in a child's life regardless of the hostility and acrimony between them.

The higher the conflict level, the greater the need for specific details in a parallel parenting plan. If you're unable to work it out among yourselves, then it's time to draw a line in the sand, which may require documentation.

Take Legal Action

media.giphy.com

The first approach to co-parenting is rarely seeking a lawyer, however, sometimes it's the only option. Before heading to court, there's mediation. A mediation session is between you, the other parent, and the mediator. A mediator is a person who is trained to help you and the other parent to figure out what is best for your family.

If you are unable to come to find a solution, then a court date is next; but it'll cost you. Be prepared to pay in coins, time, and emotions. This isn't a time for playing coy. Level up, sis! My best advice, keep a log of every interaction between you and the other parent because they may not play fair. I'm not a lawyer, but based on my experience, the judge makes the final decision. I benefited from receiving sole custody. This gave me the benefit of legal and physical custody. In most cases, establishing a shared custody plan is the goal.

Check Your Ego

media.giphy.com

Co-parenting isn't about you, the sole focus should be on the child. When your goal becomes a way to make the other parent pay for their mistakes or doing things out of spite, no good karma can come from that. Yes, even when that person may be deserving of all the smoke. If you aren't careful, you can become a toxic person.

Your ego can cloud your judgment and how you parent. The constant need to prove how good of a parent you are can cause further strife between you and the other parent. Your child can sense when they're being used as a pawn.

The proof of you being a bomb-ass parent is in how well-adjusted the child is. Continue to pour into them.

Live your Best Life

media.giphy.com

In the great words of A.J. Johnson: Mama gotta have a life too! Facts!

You can't meet crazy with crazy. Once you've established the details of your parenting arrangement, make sure you take some time for you too. You deserve to feel joy and are responsible for your happiness. The kids will be all right.

Featured image Shutterstock.

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:

My Struggle Co-Parenting As An Alpha Female

4 Lessons My Parents' 10-Year Separation Taught Me About Love

Monyetta Shaw Shows Us How To 'Keep It Classy' With Her New Book On Co-Parenting

How To Raise A Child With An Ex Lover

Real-Life Teachers Share Their 'Abbott Elementary' Experiences

There’s an embarrassment of riches that comes with being a fan of ABC’s hit comedy Abbott Elementary. The show, which stars Quinta Brunson as Janine Teagues, Sheryl Lee Ralph as Barbara Howard, Tyler James Williams as Gregory Eddie, and Janelle James as Principal Ava Coleman, is about a group of mostly Black educators at a predominately Black elementary school in Philadelphia and has captured audiences for its tender, hilarious, and lighthearted depiction of what it's like to be a Black teacher to young Black students.

Keep reading...Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.
10 Travel Destinations For A Perfect Winter Escape

Is the snow getting you down? Traveling during the holiday season could be the perfect winter escape that you've been looking for. According to a report by Business Wire, 53% of Americans are preparing to travel between December and February. Traveling during this time of year might be the reset your body needs before taking on the new year. From popular destinations to underrated locations, there is no shortage of places to visit and experience during this time of the year.

Keep reading...Show less
How To Answer Tough (But Common) Job Interview Questions

Landing a job interview is already a feat in itself, but actually getting through it feeling like you've won is a whole other issue. Whether it's a dream job that you want in order to take your career to the next level or that promotion at your current job, it's likely you'll be thrown a few curve balls by way of tough questions. They're often common and a tad basic, but they can bring about feelings of uncertainty, anxiety, or confusion.

Keep reading...Show less
Don't Miss These Epic Cyber Monday Deals By Black-Owned Brands

Many of us, at some point during this year, made it a point to be a bit more frugal and devote more dollars to that savings account in the name of adulting. But today isn't one of those days, sis! Cyber Monday is here, and the deals today are something serious! As we all know, Cyber Monday is the last opportunity to grab hold of the tremendous post-Thanksgiving sales right before the Christmas shopping season goes into full swing. It's the perfect time to take the plunge on pricier items that are finally on sale or to get the bulk of your end-of-year shopping in for a steal. The only thing that could be better than scoring an epic price slash on a dope haul is knowing you're supporting hard-working Black woman entrepreneurs in the process. After all, what's better than buying Black?

Whether you've got the bulk of your holiday gifts accounted for, or have barely made a dent in your shopping list, we can't stand to see you miss out on these incredible discounts being dished out by some of our favorite ElevateHer brands. From Uoma Beauty's epic 80% off sitewide discount to Forvr Mood's very rare candle sale, here's a list of all the best deals to get your hands on before Cyber Monday is out!

Uoma Beauty - Get Up To 80% Off The Entire Site, No Code Needed



Melanj Hair - Get Up To $60 Off Hair Extensions



Ami Colé - Use code "Holiday" for 20% sitewide.


Peak + Valley - Enjoy 25% off all products with code "blackfriday"


Salt.xo- Shop 40% Sitewide No Code Needed


Grace Eleyae - Buy One Get One Free on Apparel, Products, and Select Accessories

Milano Di Rouge - Get 25% Off Select Styles, No Code


Aseye Studio - Take 30% Off Sitewide For Cyber Monday



Sucré Couture - Up to 45% Off Sitewide


Andrea Iyamah - Take An Additional 25% Off


Forvr Mood - Enjoy 30% Off All Candles With Code "CyberMonday30"


Kingston Goods - Enjoy Free Standard Shipping + 50% off duvet covers with code COZYSZN


8 Kinds Of Sex Every Couple Should Have In Their Rotation

When it comes to sex, you can never have too many tricks up your sleeve. A long-term relationship can quickly become boring, and nothing kills desire faster than boredom. When people get comfortable in long-term relationships, they often lose their spark. Relationships are like monthly subscription services. You get the first month for free, but after that, you have to actually start investing in order to continue to reap the benefits.

Keep reading...Show less
Exclusive Interviews
Latest Posts