Divorce is a life-changing event. There is no way of getting around that things will not be the same for you or your children after the agreement is signed and everyone has moved on. It is often best for everyone to be out of a strained relationship but, at the same time, there are new challenges that come with parents raising children between two homes.
It is possible that both parents didn’t agree on rules when in the same home, but made concessions for their relationship. In different homes, it is much harder to create consistency for your children. Simply put, no matter what you might wish the other parent do during his or her parenting time, it will not always match your own thoughts and actions.
Two homes, two sets of rules
Just as you sought to minimize stress on your children during the divorce, you want to keep the peace afterwards. Every situation and personality is different, but there are some universal tips on when to take a deep breath and accept things versus when to speak up. It’s hard to relinquish control, to take the high road on disagreements with your ex, and to deal with uncooperative behavior. Most co-parents, though, will find themselves in these situations.
Huffington Post Divorce has compiled a list of 7 common issues facing co-parents, and offers suggestions to manage those situations in which these common issues arise. In many instances, the article recommends adaptability. A fight between co-parents is often more stressful for children than whatever caused the argument in the first place.
7 common struggle areas
- Disparaging the other parent
- Bedtime differences
- Schedule changes
- Relinquishing control
- Uncooperative co-parents
- Inconsistent parenting
- Judging the other parent's parenting skills
Finding that middle ground
Parenting is a lifelong challenge. Post-divorce parenting issues are common and require active effort from both parents to find the best working arrangement. You undoubtedly have different parenting methods that will be highlighted by living in different homes. The approach to these disputes affects more than your own peace of mind, it also affects your children.
To summarize this issue, it is never good to place your children under the stress of parental conflict. When you and the other parent cannot resolve an issue, it is time to seek help in the form of a Decision Maker, Level II Parenting After Divorce Program, or some other method for allowing the children to be children and not be caught up in adult conflicts.