Co-parents have to work as a team to ensure that their children can thrive. When either parent starts to exhibit unwarranted behaviors, the child is the one who can suffer.
Some divorced parents let their anger at their ex-spouse take over. Instead of becoming directly confrontational, however, they exhibit passive-aggressive behavior toward their co-parent. Here are two examples of what that can look like:
Giving you the silent treatment
Getting the “silent treatment” from your co-parent might give you a much-needed break from their drama, but that also makes it hard to make decisions about the children.
This might be a situation where written communication with your co-parent needs to be mandated so that you can document your attempts to engage and gain their cooperation over critical issues.
Procrastination and refusal
Sometimes, the passive-aggressive behavior comes out as procrastination or a refusal to do something important. This can make it hard to continue the parenting relationship.
Unfortunately, the kids might be caught in the middle of the situation if the procrastination directly affects them. For example, if your co-parent is supposed to buy school supplies and refuses to do so, the child might end up having to go to school without the items they need.
It’s best to have the parenting plan in writing as quickly as possible after your split. This can help ensure that both parents understand what needs to happen with the children. Many co-parents set this through mediation, but there are times when turning to the court might be necessary. If you’re unsure of your next steps, an experienced advocate can help you learn more.