Better, Not Bitter:
3 Effective Strategies For Engaging A Co-Parent
Who Won’t Parent
We all know them. The non-custodial parent who is barely involved in their child’s life. They could be there for them but their priorities are in the wrong place. They are focused on themselves or their new relationship or whatever. But you, as the custodial parent have to try to figure out how to help your child deal with their feelings about their parent who is starting to check out of their life.
It’s painful to a child when their dad or mom doesn’t call or see them often.
It hurts a lot when there are no overnight visits or weekends together.
When a child doesn’t get to spend one-on-one time with their non-custodial parent it can make them sad. I have dealt with this myself when my ex got really busy and didn’t realize how much time had passed since he and our youngest had some special time together – which our son really needs. But I know this kind of issue can turn into a situation that creates conflict. You also don’t want to beg someone to do what they are supposed to do.
So how do you engage the other parent who is around less and less to become more active and involved with their child?
1. Ask Them
Begin with a question and make it about your child. Keep the conversation focused on the future, not the past. Don’t start by stating what they haven’t been doing. Keep things positive. Maybe a conversation starter like, “Is there a way for you to try to see Child’s Name on a more frequent basis? He/she misses you and I think it might be good for him/her to see you more.” Sometimes people are not doing the things we think they should, but we never stop to just ask what they think before developing our own solution.