Parenting Styles vs. Dangerous Parenting

How do I know if my child may be in danger from their other parent?

It is not uncommon for parents to disagree about how to parent their children.

Parenting styles refer to the general approach that parents use to raise their children. There are several recognized parenting styles, including authoritarian, permissive, authoritative, and uninvolved. Each of these styles can have both positive and negative effects on children.

On the other hand, dangerous parenting involves behaviors that can cause harm to children physically, emotionally, or psychologically. Some examples of dangerous parenting include physical abuse, neglect, emotional abuse, and exposure to drugs or violence.

While different parenting styles can have different effects on children, dangerous parenting is universally harmful and can lead to long-lasting negative consequences for children. It's important for parents to be aware of the difference between parenting styles and dangerous parenting and to strive to provide a safe and supportive environment for their children to grow and thrive.

A court will not intervene if parents disagree on things such as bedtime, how much screen time children get, whether they eat organic food or not etc., etc., but there are signs to look for that may require you to take further action:

  • Behavioral and/or emotional changes in your child – If your child comes home from visits with the other parent withdrawn or acting out, this could be a sign that your child is being emotionally abused. While it is normal for children to exhibit some acting-out behaviors following custody exchanges and visitation, especially in the first few months following a divorce, dramatic changes in your normally outgoing child could be an indication that something is wrong.
  • Defiance with your rules – Another sign that your ex-spouse’s parenting behaviors are causing an issue is if your child returns from visits and exhibits defiant attitudes about your rules. If they make statements such as, “Mommy says I don’t have to listen to you,” or “Daddy says you are not the boss of me,” this could be a strong indication that the other parent is trying to undermine your authority with your child and could even develop into a serious case of parental alienation.
  • Unexplained bruises or injuries on your child – If your child suddenly begins coming home from visits with the other parent with bruises or injuries that they cannot explain or do not want to talk about, this could be a sign that your child is being physically abused by either your ex or someone your ex allows around your child.

If your child is showing signs of any of the above, it is important to speak with either the authorities, The Department of Family and Child Protective Services, and possibly an attorney to seek a change to the custody agreement.

Categories: Family Law