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Handling an absent or uncooperative co-parent

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A healthy co-parenting relationship is built on teamwork and respect. When the other parent wants to be difficult about everything and refuses to cooperate with the parenting plan, the entire situation can feel dire. It is imperative that you try to find ways to make things more manageable so that you and your children don't have to deal with undue stress.

You should make sure that you are being honest with your children, to a reasonable extent. The kids don't need false hope about what might happen. If the other parent hasn't been showing up for visits or is being unrealistic, don't mislead the child in a way that might make them think all is well.

When one parent doesn't have anything to do with the children, there are going to be some strong feelings associated with the situation. Help your children find ways to cope with the pain and emotions they are feeling. In some cases, they might need to visit a therapist for assistance.

If your co-parent is unpredictable, it might be best to just wait and see if they show up to see the children. If the kids are young, you may not want to tell too far in advance that they might see the other parent on a particular day. Older children might know the schedule, so you might just have to let them know that you don't really know if the other parent will show up or not.

Your focus as a parent is to try to give your children a stable life that is full of good memories. While this isn't always easy, you can try to find ways to incorporate happiness into daily life. This might help you and the children move forward with their new normal way of life.

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