It’s your parenting time, yet your co-parent still finds a reason to contact you. From multiple phone calls to daily text messages, they are mentally determined to interrupt your parenting time based on their needs or ulterior motive.
Your co-parent may go as far as asking the kids about what type of activities they are doing in your home, who they have been spending time with, bragging about what they have been up to, or even attempting to push your buttons because you have different parenting styles.
This whole situation is emotionally toxic to you and your children which can create greater dysfunction in both homes.
However, the root of the issue lies in the lack of communication boundaries between you and your co-parent. Your co-parent most likely lacks trust with you as a parent, wants to keep tabs on you to interrupt your lifestyle, or has severe anxiety and seeks control. Bottomline, they are displacing their personal struggles with themselves onto the co-parenting relationship as well as your children.
This type of behavior typically stems from someone who suffers from narcissistic or borderline personality traits.
Here Are Three Ways To Shutdown The Unnecessary Contact:
1. Establish A Weekly Communication Update
Establishing a weekly communication channel eliminates excessive calling and text messages during your parenting time. Schedule a time where you and your co-parent can exchange any important details about the children’s lives, like schooling, medical, activities, and necessary needs.
If your co-parent continues to message outside of the designated time you have set aside, then you may need to establish a boundary with your co-parent. Setting a boundary can create a line of communication where you both can agree to work better together for the sake of your children without pointing fingers and playing the blame game. You are no longer married, so the communication channels will need to transform the same way your relationship status transformed over time once your divorce was finalized.
In the case of emergencies, communication will need to be made immediately. A lot of co-parents have a thirty minute contact window for emergencies, as you need to seek safety for the children first prior to contacting your co-parent.
2.Schedule A Consistent Day and Time For Phone Call With Children
While your co-parent has the privilege to speak with the children during your parenting time, at the same time it doesn't have to interrupt your family structure and schedule within the home. Try scheduling a time that is consistent each week with your co-parent so there are clear guidelines for everyone to follow to achieve family goals as a co-parenting team.This will prevent interference with your parenting time while also giving the children access to both parents regardless who’s home they are at each day or week.
Consistency gives your co-parent, who may thrive on control or suffers from anxiousness, peace of mind as to when they are able to speak with the children. Being shut out or left without communication can only create additional distress for everyone which hinders the growth of an amicable co-parenting relationship.
3. Focus On How You Spend Time With Your Children
Sometimes a co-parent may call and brag to the children about what they are doing or talk about new purchases the kids would want to be a part of, like a new family pet. Unfortunately, this co-parent is most likely in competition with you and fears the children have a better relationship with you.
This type of co-parent has deep-rooted insecurities or guilt about their choices they have made, so they want the children to validate them as a “cool parent.” When behavior occurs, it may make you feel like you aren’t doing enough for the children, but keep in mind this is more about your co-parent’s issues than you or your parenting. A co-parenting who acts in such a manner doesn’t have the necessary skills to properly connect with their children, so they create an emotionally abusive cycle with them for control through inflation of their ego.
Since love isn’t a competition, it's best to focus solely on how you spend your time with the children. They desire love, quality time, and positive encouragement more than anything else to feel safe and secure within your home.
If you and your co-parent are struggling to create healthy communication boundaries, drop us a message here and take your life back.