My ex is a Really Crappy Parent! What Can I do to Change Them? (Pt 2)

A child sitting at a table as they look at a tablet screen and touch the screen to interact with a game.
Does your ex let your little kids spent hours playing on their devices? Or let them stay up late watching inappropriate stuff on TV? Co-parenting is super hard!

Hello and welcome back. We’ve been talking about the struggles parents face when they get divorced and have to co-parent with an ex they don’t like and don’t think is a good mom or dad to their kids. Unfortunately, as we explained in the previous article, you can’t change other people, the only person you can change is you. 

So why waste time fighting with them or being angry about things you can’t control? Instead, focus on areas where you can make a difference, which will help you to feel more empowered and less frustrated. Win win, right? So check out these healthy coping skills for co-parenting with a complete tool:

You need to do a little soul-searching about your ex…

It can be extremely hard to share parenting duties with someone who doesn’t agree with the things you value. But we need to unpack an uncomfortable fact here – there’s a difference between “bad” and “not what I wanted”. In other words, you may think your ex is a bad parent because they let the kids stay up too late, let them eat too much junk food, or don’t set strict screen time regulations. But that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily a “bad” parent.

When it comes to the parenting choices your ex makes, you may hate every one of them, and that’s your right. But if your child isn’t being abused or neglected, and their basic needs are being met, you have no real legal right to interfere. (Yes, we know, that’s frustrating, but it’s the truth and the sooner you embrace that and move on, the happier you’ll be!) Each parent is pretty much responsible for what happens during their own parenting time. 

Focus on the things you CAN control in life.

You can’t force your ex to give your kids nutritious, well-rounded meals, but you can make sure that when your kids are with you, they get healthy options. We realize that your kids may not like this, and you may have to listen to some complaining, especially when they know they get “tastier” options at their other parent’s house, but stick to your guns. Explain to your kids that you love them and want them to grow up healthy and strong. Eventually, one day they’ll thank you for it.

You can’t ensure that your kids get enough rest at your ex’s place, but you can enforce bedtimes when your kids are with you. Talk to their pediatrician about options like melatonin if they’re having difficulty transitioning between schedules. If their lack of good sleep is causing concerns at school, explain to their teachers that you’ll do everything you can while your kids are with you, but they need to address the issue with your ex as well. (And maybe if that info comes from a teacher it’ll have more impact on your ex’s parenting decisions!)

You can’t control much in life, but you can control who handles your divorce!

There are so many things in life you simply have no control over. But when it comes to choosing the right divorce attorney, that’s something you CAN control. So if you’re considering a divorce, and are concerned about custody or anything else that could impact your children or your future, make sure you get the right help.

Call The Kronzek Firm at (248) 479-6200 to talk to one of our skilled custody and divorce attorneys. We’re available 24/7 to help you work through custody, alimony, child support and other divorce related issues. We resolve a very high percentage of our cases without ever going to trial. We can help you too.