How To Get Your Child Help When Your Ex Thinks That Nothing Is Wrong
When a child is raised in two different households, it can cause some problems when it comes to childcare. One thing that sometimes happens is different opinions are formed over the behavior of the child. If one parent believes the child is showing signs of ADD or ADHD, the other may think their child is being disorganized and unfocused but not in a way that is unusual for a kid.
The only way to be sure is by visiting health care professionals so that your child can be assessed, and that can be tricky. Since doctors visits and medication still require joint consent, it can sometimes be difficult to get your ex-partner to consent.
If you are stuck in this position right now, there are some steps you can take to work with your ex and convince them that your child needs help.
Ask For A Meeting At Neutral Territory
When you are ready to talk to your ex about your concerns, it is best to meet at a neutral place. Often, meeting at either of your homes or that of grandparents homes, can leave the other person off-balance and on the defensive.
Instead, to create a conducive environment of cooperation, I would recommend you two meet together at places like a park, cafe, or reserve a meeting room at your local library. Not only are these places neutral, but they are public enough that outbursts are likely to be held to a minimum.
Have Clear Examples Of Concerning Behavior
If your ex-partner doesn’t believe there is anything wrong with your child, it is important that you bring clear examples of the concerning behavior with you to the meeting. This aspect can especially important if you are the main custodial parent and the other parent doesn’t see the child enough to notice the problem you are concerned with.
For instance, say you are concerned that your child has anger management issues. Outline recent outbursts, reports from teachers, and other examples when you discuss the issue with your ex. This tactic works with most problems, from insidious issues like teenage narcissism to eating disorders.
Maintain Focus On The Child, Not Past Issues
As you talk about the issues your child is facing, be sure to keep the conversation on the topic. It can be hard for both of you to not open up past wounds, especially if the issues your child is facing is likely caused by either the divorce or the behavior of your ex.
But, picking a fight with your ex or re-hashing old hurts will not help you gain their cooperation. You may have to be the adult in the conversation and redirect your ex back to the important matter by saying something like this, “I don’t think now is the time to talk about that. Can we please discuss Billy and his anger management issues?”
Offer Options And Ask For Their Opinions
While it can be frustrating, especially if you have done all the research and found the best option when it comes to the care of your child, do your best to offer options. As the other parent, your ex is more likely to consent to treatment if they feel like they had the ability to help in choosing a course of treatment.
For instance, say that you have researched anger management treatment and found that specific therapeutic treatment for teenage boys is the best route. While you should say that you believe that is the ideal solution, be sure to offer other acceptable ones that may help such as different types of therapy and perhaps medication.
Your ex may also have opinions on the course of treatment. Do your best to listen to them and allow them to feel heard, though you can discuss why you discounted those options during your own research.
Be Prepared To Cover Costs On Your Own
It is unpleasant to think about, but some ex-partners block treatment just because they don’t want to pay for it. With that in mind, you may need to be prepared to offer to pay for some or all the treatment to get your ex to agree.
If needed, there are tools that can help you find sliding scale healthcare, which takes your income into account when it comes to paying for services. Many therapists also offer sliding scale payments, so you shouldn’t feel like you are without resources.
It can be tough to work with an ex-spouse that is combative, but for your child’s sake, it is important that you do your best to work together so that your child can receive the care they need.
Author of this article, Tyler Jacobson, enjoys going to the mountains near his home in Draper, Utah to connect with his wife and children through camping, hiking, and quality time together. When he isn’t rebooting in the outdoors, he shares his fatherly experiences with the world through writing and creative work. Tyler shares the ups and downs of family life and the solutions he’s found through lengthy research and involvement in the industry and his own experiences to help parents everywhere. Follow Tyler on: Twitter
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