When we are dealing with a difficult coParent, we need to be role models of flexible thinking, managed emotions, and moderate behaviors – for them to mirror.
This will help the children develop skills for coping with a difficult or high-conflict parent (HCP). Even if just one parent is demonstrating these positive skills, the children will mirror them and absorb them. But no one’s perfect, so don’t be surprised that you will occasionally get hooked and mirror the HCP parent’s behavior. Demonstrate for your child how you can catch yourself and change your responses back to reasonable ones as soon as possible.
Remember, it’s not about who’s an all-good parent and who’s an all-bad parent. It’s about a thousand little behaviors and interactions. Whether you’re a parent or a professional, don’t let an HCP parent hook you into helping build that Wall of Alienation. Build a Foundation of Resilience instead. You can start building this at any time, regardless of what you or anyone else has done up to now.