How to Successfully Manage Co-Parenting Conflict
Raising a child from separate homes is no easy task. While both parents have the common goal of raising healthy, happy and successful children, it’s often how each person goes about parenting that ends up being the point of co-parenting conflict.
Having different parenting styles isn’t a bad thing. Even if both parents were together it would still be co-parenting under one roof rather than two, but being separated amplifies the tension and adds a match to the fuse. How can you make this co-parenting thing work after clashes?
Try Finding Balance
There is a full spectrum of parenting styles ranging from strict and enforcing to relaxed with fewer rules. While your parenting styles probably land somewhere in the middle, differences over the best way to pack lunch or give out allowances can still cause long-lasting arguments. What’s important is finding a healthy balance. Trying setting up a calendar that alternates between both of your ideas, or agree on a goldilocks situation.
Effective communication not possible with an ex? There’s still a balance that can be found. Apps such as SupportPay make it possible to work in various parenting styles and techniques into a calendar system – without needing direct communication with an ex.
Your kids are dynamic
Children often operate with different daily rules, whether it’s from school, daycare, sports, with friends or at home. They can adapt and will face these situations many times in their lives. This prepares them to handle different parenting styles. I personally grew up with a strict father and relaxed mother. 15 years later, both styles have blended together and made me the man I am today; it worked out well because there are valuable lessons to be learned from every style of parenting.
However, it’s still important that you remain consistent with your child and maintain expectations in your home, even if you hear your child say they prefer the way your co-parent does something (you will hear it If you haven’t already). A stability and consistency in your home is important for your child to thrive.
When it feels impossible to work with your ex and you two are facing co-parenting conflict all the time, consider taking time to separate and not talk directly for a while (instead using the indirect methods mentioned above). If that doesn’t work, try new tactics like parallel parenting – it’s an arrangement that limits direct contact between the co-parents while both of you remain active and involved. You can try online tools such as SupportPay to help manage payments and cost sharing indirectly this way. This co-parenting technique gives you and the other co-parent enough space to eventually work together again in the future.
Let’s face it – your parenting styles may never completely align, but your child can still thrive and live a successful happy childhood. It’s important to try and find a balance when important decisions need to be made, but remember – your kids are dynamic, and there’s always time to disengage.