Family law courts do their best to protect children of divorce while also fostering parental relations when making decisions about child custody and visitation. For example, if your ex-wife has a history of drug abuse and addiction, the judge may determine that your child is better off living with you in your home.
Unfortunately, many toxic parents have excellent masking skills, or they might not realize the harm they cause. To the people around them, they may seem like the perfect, doting parent. Behind closed doors, however, they typically behave in ways that could harm children psychologically.
Five signs of a potentially toxic mother
First, it is crucial to understand that parents exhibiting toxic behaviors are rarely “bad” people. In most cases, they need help overcoming the underlying factors that bring out such behaviors. Some of the signs associated with toxic mothers (or dads!) include:
- Many display self-centered or narcissistic behaviors and often remain emotionally unavailable to their kids and other loved ones.
- Toxic parenting may involve controlling your children or not allowing them to make their own decisions as they grow into adulthood.
- In addition to controlling their children, toxic parents also tend to manipulate them by causing them to feel shame or guilt, for example.
- In some cases, a toxic mother or father may expose their kids to verbal or even physical abuse.
- Finally, most toxic parents have few if any boundaries and tend to push or bully others until they get their way.
Overall, children residing with a toxic parent risk damages to their best interests, which family law courts promise to protect.
What can you do about your co-parent’s toxic behaviors?
Please, reach out for help right away to keep your kids safe from harm. Once a Norman, Oklahoma, family law judge learns of these toxic relationships, he or she may modify your child custody and visitation order to minimize psychological (or physical) harm even more.
Consider learning more about potentially harmful parental behaviors that could affect your children after your divorce. If you are not sure where to start, a legal professional can connect you with experts in the field of children and their psychological health.