Consistent Co-parenting Makes Life Easier for Children after Divorce | Two HappyHomes Inc.

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Consistent Co-parenting Makes Life Easier for Children after Divorce

Parenting after divorce takes patience, cooperation and collaboration. It’s not uncommon for one parent to notice behavior differences in their children when they return from a stay with their other parent. This can be extremely frustrating or irritating, especially if your values and parenting style doesn’t match that of your former spouse.
 
What can you do to remedy the situation? Try having a conversation about how inconsistencies affect your children after divorce – and see if you can come to a better understanding.
 
Consistency in parenting creates the smoothest transition after divorce – and in the years that follow. If the rules previously established in your home are still followed by both parents after the divorce, the children are likely to more easily adjust to the new transitions in their life. In families where Mom and Dad dramatically disagree about significant parenting decisions, the consequences can be disturbing and sometimes dangerous. Differing values regarding discipline, curfews, homework, eating habits, after school activities, etc. can create confusion in your children and major conflicts between Mom and Dad. Children can pay the price emotionally – and are also likely to take advantage of the parental rift in many destructive ways. When they play Mom against Dad everyone looses and the kids especially lose the security and continuity of effective parenting.
 
With this in mind, strike up a conversation with your ex and discuss ways in which you can agree on some rules in both houses. Don’t point fingers and put your ex on the defensive with blame or shame. Focus instead on the benefits to your children when they experience consistency and agreement between their parents. 
 
If you can’t find a place of agreement, try to let go and accept the disparities rather than creating more tension in your relationship. Children will adapt to differences in Mom and Dad’s homes and come to accept that as reality. While they may act out more and take advantage of your lack of agreement and continuity between homes, they will survive. Trust that in time they often come to appreciate your values and the fact that you’ve stuck to them. Often as adults they will acknowledge you for the very rules that they most rebelled against.
 
We demand a lot from children when they move from home to home as we try to co-parent after divorce. For that reason give your kids some slack. Allow the time to transition back into your home after an away-stay with their other parent. Remind them gently about the way we do things in your house and don’t jump on them for infringements in the first hours after their return. 
 
Remember they didn’t ask for your divorce and as hard as any of this is on you, it’s that much more difficult for them – physically as well as emotionally.
 
 
 
Rosalind Sedacca is the Founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network and author of the internationally-acclaimed ebook, How Do I Tell the Kids about the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children – with Love! This unique ebook doesn’t just tell you what to say, it provides age-appropriate, customizable templates that say it for you!
 
Rosalind provides telephone coaching services on parenting skills during and after divorce. She also offers teleseminars, Group Coaching programs and a comprehensive Audio Coaching program for parents that can be downloaded around the world. Rosalind personally initiated International Child-Centered Divorce Month which is commemorated every January to remind parents, educators, divorce professionals and the media about the challenges faced every day by children of divorce.
 
Rosalind’s newest book, co-authored with her sister, Amy Sherman, LMHC, is: 99 Things Women Wish They Knew Before Dating After 40, 50 & Yes, 60! This easy-to-read guide is packed with wisdom for women who are moving on and ready to create a loving, lasting and fulfilling relationship in the years ahead. 
 
To learn more about Rosalind’s coaching services, books and courses, visit: www.childcentereddivorce.com and www.howdoitellthekids.com.  For information about her DatingRescue eCourse for women of all ages visit www.womendatingrescue.com. Details about her Create Your Ideal Relationship Kit for women over forty can be found at www.womendatingafter40.com. Contact Rosalind directly at rosalind@childcentereddivorce.com.

Comments

What if your co-parents doesn't even try... we are currently going to court because he claims I didnt' let him see our girls all summer long. From the date we were divorce and before, he picked them up on of his two days... Thursday never a Friday like he wanted. Now, he's claiming I didn't let him see them. It takes two to communicate. When I tried for months to try and get him to get our girls and there was no response, then you at one point give up. That I did... but I didn't. We are now going through all this stuff with court and he got a guardian ad litem involved. Now that he has the over night visitation he never wanted, he doesn't do anything with them. What happens when that parent who left doesn't want to co-parent but insists on having them over just to sit around. I've been and will remain the custodial parent and it hurts me to see him doing this to our girls. I just hope the justice system sees the games he's been playing. It's rather aggravating as the parent who's taking care of the children all the time. I see their anger... their pain.