Post Separation Parental Conflict - a list of what not to do
Parental Conflict/ Fighting between the parties can be a serious form of child maltreatment and abuse. Avoiding this trap can often be difference between winning and losing. Here are examples.
Two is better than one.Studies show that children in the mother's home will excel in some ways and suffer in others. The same is true for those in the father's home - typically better in some ways and not as good in other ways. Like it or not having both parents involved in a healthy way is preferrable. Included are example of ignorance; * lack of concern for the children; * inability to honestly see oneself in the same mirror as used by the rest of the world; * Anger and revenge; * Jealousy and fear; * Power and Control including religious, school, friends, and activities; * Court strategy including Financial Incentives; * Mild to severe personality/psychiatric disorders including: * Borderline Personality Disorder * Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSBP) * Antisocial personality disorder (APD) * disregard for safety and responsibility * refusal to conform to lawful behaviours * deceitfulness, repeated lying, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure * impulsiveness * irritability * irritability and aggressiveness, which may include physical assaults on others * reckless disregard for safety of self or others aggressiveness, and/or violent behavior * lack of conscience or remorse for consequences of behavior * lack of empathy * lack of honesty * Third party reinforcement/involvement * Family background
The List 1- 501. Bad mouth the other parent in front of the child, 2. Interfere with healthy telephone contact, 3. Hang up the phone - or force the child to hang up - in the middle of a conversation, 4. Encourage the child to defy the other parent regarding things the other parent reasonably deems inappropriate considering the child's age and maturity, 5. Bad mouth the other parent decisions regarding things the other parent reasonably deems inappropriate considering the child's age and maturity in front of the child, 6. Cause problems or delays over seeing the other parent - if you really want to hurt your kid be sure to include birthdays, holidays, family weddings, funerals, Mother's day, Father's Day and such things, 7. Don't cooperate about summer visitation or other holidays - just wait to the last minute and be sure the other parent has dates when he/she has no vacation time, 8. Take the child to doctors or other professionals without first telling the other parent or letting them be there or first speak with the child, 9. Refuse to let a third person help talk over problems, or coordinate events, if there have been problems, 10. Be unwilling to participate in family conferences, 11. Refuse to participate in fair and equal parenting arrangements except on your terms, 12. Plan activities for the child which interfere with the other parents activities/schedule - don't even bother to call to check such things our first, 13. Bribe the child or entice them with something that will interfere with the other parents scheduled time, 14. Don't permit - or make it clear you do not like - the child to have pictures of the other parent in their room, 15. Don't give your or the child's telephone numbers, whereabouts, employment addresses and telephone numbers to the other spouse, 16. Call the other party at home or work all the time when you are mad or angry with them, 17. Have the child call your boyfriend or girl friend "Dad" or Mom" and use there last name, 18. Talk about adoption - particularly if the other parent is paying support or visiting regularly, 19. Don't talk to the other parent about day care and find the most expensive place here is, 20. Use someone other than the other parent for a baby sitter when the other parent could reasonably and easily be available - that's right don't even bother to call to find out, 21. Go to the other parents family events when you are not invited, 22. Get in arguments over pick up times return times that are off by a few minutes - and then to seal the deal be way early or late yourself, 23. Don't tell the other parent about important school events, holiday, or extra curricular activities - this is especially hurtful when they would not find out directly from the school, 24. If you have difficulty with getting information about regular school information just argue with the other parent rather than trying to get information directly from the school, 25. Don't let the other parties family know about or go to school or extra curricular activities, 26. Don't' tell the other parent when the child is sick or hurt, 27. Throw out the other parents photos and family photo albums, 28. Give the other parent bad information about school, health or any other matter, 29. Give the school bad contact information about the other parent, 30. Be rude to the boyfriend or girlfriend without just cause or reject friendly efforts to work cooperatively, 31. Do not accommodate the child requests for minor or temporary changes in visitations, 32. Refuse to let the child have a cell phone provided by that parent, 33. Keep the kid home if you expect the other party to show up, 34. Cover up - take pages out of the school reports or other reports that the other party might reasonably want to discuss, 35. Unreasonably Hang up on the other party in anger in front of the child, 36. Don't pick up the other phone call and be sure the kids knows it, 37. Tell the other parent to take a hike when there are small reasonable extra expenses, 38. Keep on smoking in the home even if the child indicates discomfort, 39. Insist on a precise time every day when the child is in the others home - this even though the child calls you regularly and the other parent is good about calling and talking matters over, 40. Don't let the child communicate with the other parties family even though they are not crooks or drug addicts, 41. Be sure that the other parent can't talk to your kid by just cutting off phone service, 42. Don't ever permit the other parent to ever have an extra lunch time or day care day with the child and just to be sure tell the school and day care provider about this, 43. Take money out the child's bank account without discussing with the other parent, 44. Don't let the child be friendly with kids whose parents might be friends with the ex, 45. Tell the child that what they do reminds you of bad character traits in the other parent, 46. Don't take actions about the child's health or well fair when the other parent or other people seem concerned, 47. Ignore bad grades, don't talk to teachers regularly, and do not accept advise about assisting with the child's grades - particularly ignore any advise about learning disabilities without bothering to consult with any other expert, 48. Don't ever let the child, not matter how old, baby sit his/her brother and sisters at the other parents home, 49. Don't let the kid take it pet to the other home even when the other parent would welcome the pet, 50. Be sure that the child can not participate in any activity when the other parent might be making decisions - ie, father's with boy scouts and mothers with girl scouts,
The List - 51-87 and closing51. Let a boyfriend or girlfriend live in the home with your kid - its cool, 52. Change doctors and dentists without a good reason and, better yet, without letting the other parent know, 53. Flee the state or move far enough away to make visitation difficult without telling the other parent and first going back to court, 54. Physically threaten the child with death, serious harm, or an instrument or weapon as a way to tach them a lesson, 55. Threaten the other party with loss of visitation as a way to get them to sign documents, 56. Permit people under the influence of drugs, who are known sex offenders, have histories of violence, or who are under Orders of Protection, into the home while the child is there - better yet have them move right in, 57. Change or try to change the child's religion, 58. Don't let the child come visit you because they have not done what you want or there is no reasonable reason to deny the visit, 59. Try to get the health providers or teachers to say what you want to make your case better or hide something you are concerned about - just give them bad information so they can give misguided opinions in your favor; don't worry about the kid, 60. Get into physical fights with the other parent - that's a real good teaching tool, 61. Don't take Court Orders seriously and always try to make alternate arrangements - forget the schedules are good for children and that maybe the court has a good reason to think that an adult or child who the child may see is dangerous, 62. Let the child do what he/she wants about sex, drugs, smoking, firearms, 63. Let the child swear at will and particularly curse out the other parent - just as you do, 64. Threaten to move away form the other parent if you do not get your way, 65. Don't let the fact that the child is there deter you from yelling at the other parent, calling them names, or just being visibly angry, 66. Coach the child into making false allegations about the other parent, 67. Don't' tell the child that they can not talk about what you do with the other parent - (if the other parent is prying just tell the child that they can tell what they want and not to worry and then talk to the other parent to cut it out.), 68. Ask for supervised visitation just to be mean, 69. Don't give the child mail from the other parent when there is no reasonable basis to question the contents - to be really cruel do not pick up registered mail, 70. Get the kid on anti depressant and don't tell the other parent, 71. Tell the kid all the details of the Court matter no matter their age or maturity, 72. Take the other parents business records, personal records, computers and the like, 73. When there is no danger, just up and move including furniture and the like, 74. Give the child's things to other children when they have not done as you want or threaten to kick them out on the street, 75. Blow up the matter and try to get the other parent arrested as an easy solution so you do not have to go to court - (if there is in fact any danger run to the police as fast as possible; your child will know the truth), 76. Improperly claim tax credits, 77. Make harassing calls and multiple calls to the others home or work, 78. Don't follow health providers advise, 79. Over react whenever the police or school, or other parents have any concern - no matter how minor, 80. Tell the kid that the other parent is a bum who does not really love or want them, 81. Grill the child each time they come home from visitation about every detail no matter how small - they are talking about you you know, 82. Don't return the kid and keep the kid overnight without a good reason and certainly do not tell the other parent, 83. Don't take your psychiatric medications, 84. Don't give the child his her medication to take on visitations or deny the other parent the insurance card to fill them for the child, 85. Don't let the kid take toys to the other parents - or better yet once the toys or cloths are at your home be sure they do not make it back to the other home, 86. Offer the kid a TV or bigger allowance to live with you, 87. Argue over the fact that child support goes for the household and not every cent can be traced into the kids pocket. This is a partial list - the tip of the ice berg. Divorces are not pleasant but they do not need to unecessarily hurt your children. While it is best when the parties use self control, your attorney and the courts can and will help if you confront any behavior like this. As you can see, none of this is new. Children are like sponges, they will know what is going on even if there are not in the room or don't see or hear exactly what went on. They will be affected.