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Managing the Ex During the Pandemic

June 17, 2020

I have chatted with parents struggling to manage kids with their ex during the pandemic.

Some parents are now subject to using elements of the pandemic to control time with the kids.

While some concerns are legitimate, others are not.

When not, parents are taken down rabbit holes with the other demanding to know safety precautions used, wanting to now people in proximity, outings, etc., even when answered, the answers are taken as insufficient and more explanation is requested.

Receiving and responding the messages get longer and the time required becomes all consuming.

If not responded to, these parents are positioned as withholding information, so they are in trouble for what they reply with and in trouble if finally not replying.

This is all maddening, exhausting, time consuming and anxiety producing.

Parents are concerned that if they don’t reply in full, it can be used against them in court, but if they do, it sets off a never endless chain of questions met by judgement where something will be taken at issue.

Truth is, those messages and emails can be used to the benefit of the one under the microscope.

It is ok to set limits and boundaries. However, it must be done reasonably and always respectfully. This, is knowing that no matter what the reply, it will be interpreted against you.

Hence folks in this position could benefit from a coach who gets these issues and can teach the strategies for responding in a way that limits the likelihood of looking poorly if these messages are used for court or arbitration purposes.

It’s all about keeping replies brief and positive and resisting going down rabbit holes despite provocation.


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I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker. Check out all my services and then call me if you need help with a personal issue, mental health concern, child behavior or relationship, divorce or separation issue or even help growing your practice. I am available in person and by video conferencing.

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Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

gary@yoursocialworker.com
www.yoursocialworker.com for counseling and support

www.garydirenfeld.com – to build your successful practice

Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, former parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Georgina Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America. He consults to mental health professionals as well as to mediators and collaborative law professionals about good practice as well as building their practice.

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