Tips to successfully co-parent with a toxic ex

Establish boundaries

Co-parenting with a toxic ex (iStock)

After breaking up or divorcing with your partner, life must go on. Children must be taken care of, and their life must also go on. In as much as they might still feel the effect of not having both their parents together, nothing much should change when it comes to their wellbeing.

But what if you have one of those crazy exes that always make things so difficult? We understand that this can be really difficult but for the sake of the children, you got to try and make co-parenting work.

If dealing with a toxic, crazy or narcissistic ex, try these things while co-parenting to save yourself a headache:

1. Only have conversations that pertain the children

If it’s not about the kids, you can as well skip it. Refrain from bringing up past matters that made you fight because you will only be getting yourself in unnecessary trouble. Forget about what they did to you and talk about what is important for the children.

2. Establish boundaries and make them very clear

For co-parenting to work, you both need to be in constant communication. This calls for a lot of discipline to ensure you don’t get yourself in some complicated situation with your crazy ex. Your conversations should always be geared towards the wellbeing of the children but never towards their selfish gains.

Avoid going out with them or doing sleepovers in the name of co-parenting. The meetings you have should be purely for co-parenting purposes.

3. Make a plan

Sit down and literally write down a guideline on how you will go about it if you have to. Talk about what you expect of each other and what roles each of you should play. Make it clear on who pays school fees, who pays for healthcare and who stays with the kids on weekends and holidays. If it’s about picking the kids from school, who will do that? They might seem like simple roles but can cause conflicts if you do not have a clear way forward.

Also, make sure that you stick to that plan.

4. The children should always come first

Your toxic partner must also understand this. Whatever selfish needs they have, they can always wait. In everything that you do, just make sure that you put the children’s needs at the forefront.

5. Take legal action if necessary

If it gets to a point where you feel like your safety is threatened by your toxic ex, don’t be afraid of taking legal action. If they keep threatening you, calling you names in presence of the kids or even threatening to put the kids away from you, seek legal action.


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