Using Children Effectively In The Co-Parenting War
When used correctly, children can be a very valuable asset in a divorce. They are probably even bigger assets that a pension or salary, and even the house. You can train them to be spies who infiltrate and gather information from your ex like I did. They can be turned into bargaining chips at the negotiations table. You can use them as leverage against the other parent by placing sanctions on visits and turning them against the other parent. In some rare situations, mostly on Lifetime movies, they can eve be used as hostages. That is why it is so important to get your children to like you more than your ex when it comes to the co-parenting war . This will not be easy and will most certainly be the biggest fight of your life. It is a fight that can only be won with the support of your children.
When I was going through my own divorce, it was hard to get my children to like me more than my ex at first, but I did it, and now that is our new normal. Now I am the super fun weekend dad who only does totally awesome shit with the kids, while my ex is the evil bitch that makes them do their homework and go to bed early. Here is what I did to defeat my ex at co-parenting.
Think of Children as an Investment
Don’t worry so much about money when trying to get your kids to like you more than your ex. Think of it as an investment in your future. Look at it as the startup cost of a blossoming relationship with your children that will pay itself off tenfold in the end. Buy them anything they could possibly want. The first Christmas after my divorce, I cashed in my 401K and blew my ex out of the fucking water with presents. They say money can’t buy happiness. Well try telling that to two fucked up little 7 year olds whose parents are going through a divorce. Money can definitely buy them happiness. Their faces lit up brighter than the fucking Christmas tree when they saw all those toys. It was my first major victory in the co-parenting war against my ex. However, my mission was still far from complete.
Breakfast is the Most Important Meal of the Day
Listen, it is never ok to let small children eat ice cream and candy for breakfast. That is unless you are going through a bitter divorce and trying to get your kids to like you more than your ex. Then it is ok to let them eat whatever they want for breakfast, and while they are eating it make sure to ask them what they eat at mommy’s house for breakfast, and then in unison, you all go “Eeeeeeewwwwww!” Ice Cream and candy may not be the breakfast of champions, but they are definitely the breakfast of really fucking cool dads. I was chipping away at my ex, and slowly starting to become the favorite, but I couldn’t just rest on my laurels. I had to continue with a full-on fun offensive.
A Good Night’s Sleep is Very Important….
Yeah, maybe at mommy’s house. At daddy’s house, staying up late and having fun is way more important than a good night’s sleep. When using bedtime as a weapon against your ex in the co-parenting war, I would find out when your ex schedules bedtime at her house, then push bedtime at your house back at least 5 hours. Bedtime was possibly the most pivotal battle in the co-parenting war against my ex. The first day I told them they could stay up as long as they wanted I was rewarded with a big hug and told I was way more fun than mommy. That was when I knew I had her against the ropes. Now it was time to strike the final and fatal blow.
Enforce House Rules and Be Consistent
You have probably heard this a thousand times before. Children need structure and rules, and they need consistency, blah, blah,blah. Look I am not saying that kids shouldn’t have those things. I am simply saying that there should be less of them at your house.
You know who else has lots of rules and structure? North Korea. And no one ever wants to vacation North Korea. They want to vacation in cool countries that have no rules, like Cancun. I went there once for spring break and it was awesome. All the cab drivers were drug dealers, and when I got caught having sex on the beach I didn’t even get arrested. or anything. All the cops did was rob me and take all my money.
Look, I am just saying is that if there was a fun war between North Korea and Cancun, Cancun would win every time. So let your ex be like the crazed evil North Korean dictator with all of her crazy rules on banning R rated movies and not swearing, and you be like the guy who hosts wet t-shirt contests and gives away free beer. It won’t be long until you hear those seven magical words come your child’s mouth, “I like you way more than mommy.” That is when you will know that the war is over, and you’ve finally won. Until next time. Happy parenting everyone! Don’t forget to check out more of my parenting blogs on Raising Kids who Suck at Sports and Dealing With Crazy Internet Challenges.