Shared parenting is a difficult thing, and especially so if you and your ex have a rocky or volatile relationship. However, if you are determined to provide the right environment for your children, and if you are prepared to work together rather than against one another, shared parenting can be a great arrangement, both for yourself and the kids.
However, it also introduces a number of issues that you need to work on collectively with your ex-partner, and failing to do this can lead to a complete breakdown in your relationship with your kids over time as you attempt to parent together.
Here are the Top 6 Shared Parenting Hurdles you need to overcome in order to Become Successful Parents your children…
1. Never Speak Negatively About the Other Parent
I know it’s tempting, but as much as you can you need to not speak ill of your ex to your child, no matter what they say or do, what arrangements they make or how much you or the children don’t think they care. Many separated couples use the children as a means to attack the other adult, and this not only alienates them, but it causes deep mistrust between you and your ex-partner.
2. Communicate about Rules
No matter how much you dislike your ex, you need to be in communication with them and present a united parenting front to the children with regards family rules or laws. Frequently in cases of shared parenting, each household develops a different set of rules after the separation, but you will be well served to change communication with each other and make sure that your arrangements like what time they go to bed or what time they have to be home by are uniform, no matter which household they are staying at.
3. Talk about Consequences
Likewise, the consequences for breaking the rules need to be uniform for the children between the two parents. The kids need to understand they cannot do something in one household and “get off lightly” while on the other household they face severe consequences. If you are involved in sharing custody, make sure that the consequences for the children’s actions are the same no matter which one of you they are involved with.
4. Don’t Grill the Kids!
If you are involved in the business of shared parenting, it’s important that you don’t grill a child about the behaviour or relationships of the other party. You may be curious but it’s none of your business, and it’s time to realize that trying to manipulate the information out of your children will destroy trust that they have in you, and can completely undermine your credibility with them after some time. Frankly, you are better off not knowing the details of the other parents activity!
5. Share the Load
We all want to have fun with each child, but in cases of shared parenting is not healthy for one parent to be the fun one while the other is to deal with the mundane issues of life. Make sure that fun things like going out to the movies or dinner with the kids are distributed between the two parents, and especially make sure that difficult tasks like discipline, homework and chores are also equally split.
6. Beware of Manipulation in Shared Parenting
Your little angels, as lovely as they, can be master manipulators! Even if a couple is together, kids are experts at playing one parent off against the other to get what they want, especially as they hit the teenage years. This effect is amplified in the case of shared parenting, so be aware of manipulation, and make sure that before you grant permission for something you check with each other party, via a phone call or a quick text.
Regardless of how you view your ex-partner, your responsibility is communicating and treating each other with respect. Set time on a calendar aside to meet, plan and make arrangements for the kids and you will find that the business of shared parenting becomes easier.