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.

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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.


About Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq

Bill Eddy is a lawyer, therapist, mediator and the President of High Conflict Institute. He developed the "High Conflict Personality" theory (HCP Theory) and has become an international expert on managing disputes involving high conflict personalities and personality disorders. He provides training on this subject to lawyers, judges, mediators, managers, human resource professionals, businesspersons, healthcare administrators, college administrators, homeowners’ association managers, ombudspersons, law enforcement, therapists and others. He has been a speaker and trainer in over 25 states, several provinces in Canada, Australia, France and Sweden.

As an attorney, Bill is a Certified Family Law Specialist in California and the Senior Family Mediator at the National Conflict Resolution Center in San Diego. Prior to becoming an attorney in 1992, he was a Licensed Clinical Social worker with twelve years’ experience providing therapy to children, adults, couples and families in psychiatric hospitals and outpatient clinics. He has taught Negotiation and Mediation at the University of San Diego School of Law for six years and he is on the part-time faculty of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at the Pepperdine University School of Law and the National Judicial College.

He is the author of numerous articles and several books.

Areas of Expertise: Mediation, Family Law, Workplace, Judicial Officers, Court Systems, Governmental Entities, Mental Health Professionals, New Ways for Families.


To view his book, “BIFF: Quick Responses to High-Conflict People,” visit this link:

To view his book, “Don’t Alienate the Kids!” Visit this site: