After a divorce, you will still need to work together to raise your kids. People often refer to this as co-parenting, yet that is only really true if you cooperate.
As an inability to cooperate is often what leads to a divorce, it stands to reason that you might not find this any easier once you end the marriage. Hence you might need to consider parallel parenting instead.
Parallel parenting means you leave each other to parent as they please
You need to have some boundaries, of course. If your ex believes it is fine to put out plates of hash brownies for your child’s eighth birthday party or OK for your 12-year-old daughter to sleep with her boyfriend, you need to speak up.
It’s more about letting the little things fly. For example, if you always have the kids in bed by 8 pm, but your ex insists on letting them stay up till 8.30 pm, it’s not worth arguing over.
If your teenager is only allowed out two nights a week in term time with you, but your ex lets them out three nights, again, it may be easiest not to make a fuss.
Its’ not just about reducing conflict
If your child needs to navigate two different sets of rules between their parent’s homes, you could consider it good practice for the real world. The rules are different in all sorts of places. Your child understands that what flies at home may not fly at their grandma’s or school. What is acceptable with their friends may not be OK with you, and so on.
While you may have good reasons for wanting certain rules, it’s crucial to realize that parental conflict can do far more harm to a child than minor differences in rules. Consider legal help to find out more about the different options for handling custody.