Dealing with Aggressive Parenting

Differences of opinion on parenting can often drive couples apart, and can even lead to divorce or separation. It is not unusual for parents to have different views on how childhood milestones should be approached, and being divorced or separated from the other parent can make working through those differences even more difficult. Co-parenting presents challenges for even the most amicably divorced couple. These challenges are significantly exacerbated in situations where one parent engages in aggressive parenting.

Aggressive parenting may present itself in many forms. It commonly is observed when the other parent is aggressive directly toward you. There may be unnecessarily nasty texts, aggressive phone calls, or even loud confrontations at the exchanges. In such a case, parents should seek solutions for how to defuse the aggression between the parents. Solutions will vary depending on the form that the aggression takes. For example, if the aggressive parent tends to be physically intimidating or verbally aggressive at exchanges, the parent may want to consider bringing a neutral witness for those exchanges or moving the exchange to a public place. Aggressive parents are less likely to employ these tactics when there are other people present.

Aggressive parenting may also take the form of aggression toward the child. The end goal of such behavior is typically parental alienation. The aggressive parent may make disparaging comments about the other parent to the child, such as “I don’t know why your father won’t let you eat what you want. It’s a good thing that I love you enough to listen to your opinions.” Such passive aggressive comments serve only to undermine the relationship between the other parent and the child. When parental alienation or aggressive parenting is becoming obvious, family counseling could provide an outlet to let the parents re-learn how to communicate and express their frustrations with each other in a productive way. These types of comments and behavior are damaging to the child, and they must be addressed. In cases where the aggressive parent persists in his or her efforts to alienate the child from the other parent, it may be necessary to return to court to request required counseling or even a change of custody or parenting schedules.

Dealing with an aggressive parent on the other side of a divorce or custody matter can make a difficult situation even worse. We have helped many clients handle these types of situations. Call us today at (732) 529-6937 for an appointment to talk about your case and how to handle the aggressive parent in your case.

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