Mothers naturally feel protective of their children and frequently feel pressure to provide the best care possible. This may sometimes lead to a phenomenon called maternal gatekeeping, where the mother does not want anybody else to look after the child. It may intensify after a divorce, limiting the father’s involvement with the child.
Co-parenting is tough when the other parent is working to sabotage your relationship with your child. You do not want your kid to start seeing you differently the next time you visit them. Here are some signs to watch out for:
- Teaching the child to keep secrets from you
The other parent may use seemingly innocent phrases to coerce your child into keeping things from you. This can cause you to feel isolated and distanced from your child.
- Micromanaging how you care for the child
The mother may doubt your ability to care for your child and send you endless reminders, leaving no room to figure things out. She may try to control every aspect of your parenting, including the child’s schedule, what they can eat, when they can sleep, and so on.
- Being the child’s only contact
Your child generally needs you to be a point of contact when they go to school or leave on trips. Both you and the mother should be involved. If you are not, you might miss important details about your child.
- Being the child’s only resource for schoolwork, problems, and other issues
You have the right to help your child with homework and school projects. It can help you bond with your child and allow you to share your knowledge with them. However, the mother may feel that your approach to teaching is not the most effective and prevent you from educating your child.
- Concealing vital information
Both parents should know whether the child is struggling with something, such as health or schoolwork. It is not a good indicator if your ex-spouse is the only one who knows your child is sick or struggling academically.
Mothers are often thought to know what’s best for their children, which can make it difficult to prove how maternal gatekeeping is problematic. Suppose your spouse uses psychological methods to prevent you from seeing your child. In that case, you may want to look into modifying your child custody order and speak to an attorney for legal advice.