Ah, baby daddies. You can't live with them, and you can't make babies without them. Whether you're still romantically linked with the father of your child or not, he's an important part of your kid's upbringing. We spoke with marriage and family therapist Dr. David Simonsen to hear his tips for troubleshooting your co-parenting concerns when your baby daddy's choices veer from annoying into terrible.
Sorry, moms — even if you have ongoing parenting disagreements with the father of your child, that doesn't necessarily make him a terrible parent. Disagreements about the ins and outs of parenting are just par for the course. For example, conflicts about bedtime, food choices and free time call for communication and compromise, because they're questions of preference rather than safety.
Some disagreements, however, truly surface from terrible parenting. "If the father of your child is doing something that could be harmful in the long-term, it definitely needs to be addressed," said Dr. Simonsen. Anything that endangers the safety of your child deserves intervention because it is, in fact, terrible parenting.
According to Dr. Simonsen, all parenting concerns need to be looked at in light of danger to your child. Danger, moreover, encompasses more than just physical safety concerns. If your child's father puts your child in any of the following types of danger, you need to intervene.
If your child's father makes choices that are more annoying than dangerous, then your approach needs to be different. Spend some time thinking about whether or not you're scared for your child's safety prior to intervening.
Intervention for terrible parenting will look different between parents and scenarios. Once you're triaged your parenting concern, consider the following options.
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