Tips for effective divorced parenting
Single parenting and divorced parenting is a more common reality these days. With one in two marriages ending in divorce, more and more parents find themselves co-parenting with their partners, and this can be difficult, especially for their children. However, you don't have to fight with your partner to raise your kids the way you want to raise them. Shared parenting can be a study in collaboration, but it can also be a lot easier than you think.
Joint Custody Parenting
Joint legal custody or joint physical custody means that you and your partner both get to take care of your children equally. Sometimes, this is split up in different ways, but if your partner has been granted child visitation, you will have to deal with their parenting style potentially clashing with your own. The best way to maintain a consistent message to your children is to communicate. Communication is key – your partner may have a parenting style you disagree with, but if you stay reliable on the things that matter, such as discipline and schooling, you can raise your kids in a loving, consistent manner.
The custodial parent will have the most influence over your children. Tell the non-custodial parent about what you've been doing with your children, any problems you've been having or challenges that you're facing. Don't fight in front of your children, especially about things like child support or past differences. Your children can get quite upset by seeing you fight, and chances are, they've already been exposed to enough of your differences during the separation or divorce. Don't pit your kids against one another or against the other parent, either.
Stay calm and be courteous. Talk about problems in a calm and consistent manner. Discuss major purchases, like school supplies, children's clothing or other potentially expensive endeavors together. If you need them, there are parenting resources such as books, magazines and websites that can help.
Co-parenting can be tough – emotions will always be running high, especially if the divorce was messy – but remember that you are doing this for your children. Exhibiting adult behavior will teach them what to do and how to act in situations of conflict.