It is very important to respond to another coParent’s difficult or high conflict behavior with moderate behaviors instead.
In other words, you must be careful not to mirror their extreme behavior. Instead, be aware of this temptation and use all of your own skills to think rationally and respond moderately. This does not mean that their extreme behavior should be tolerated. Quite the opposite. Their extreme behavior needs to be restrained or stopped, since they can’t stop themselves. However, personal attacks won’t stop it – that will escalate it (or at least not reduce it). And ignoring it won’t stop it.
Only a moderate, assertive response generally works – a response that doesn’t personally attack them and redirects them toward positive future behavior, which may include some appropriate and immediate consequences. The focus is on new behavior, rather than negative feedback.
Remember, if bad behavior can get mirrored, good behavior can also. Once you’re aware of that, you can influence people to calm down and respond more positively by responding positively yourself.
To learn more about responding to a difficult coParent, visit another article by Eddy here.