The media tends to focus on the co-parenting success stories, but like most other California parents, you know that there are just as many, if not more, parents who struggle to make things work after a divorce. They make mistakes that only seem to make the situation worse, and if they can't work it out, they could end up back in court.
Perhaps you are in the beginnings of a divorce and this is your fear. You and the other parent agree that you need to do what's best for your children, but you aren't sure how to get there without making mistakes that could cause your plans to backfire. One way to avoid these issues would be to have an understanding of what common errors other divorced parents make and create a parenting plan that includes preemptive strikes.
When it comes to post-divorce parenting issues, the most common ones include the following:
- Each party tries to become the children's favorite parent. Even though it may not seem so at the time, this actually puts the children in the middle, which is exactly what you want to avoid.
- If you feel sorry for your child, you may become lax on discipline, which would be a mistake. Once enough time passes, you will realize your mistake, and by then, you could have quite a problem on your hands.
- With all of the upheaval in your lives, you may fail to remain consistent when it comes to the rules and the consequences. Doing so could make your children feel even less secure and out of sorts.
- If you criticize the other parent's discipline or expect the other parent to always be the disciplinarian, it could cause unnecessary conflict with the other parent.
- You should resist the urge to overcompensate with your children for something the other parent did. Let the children work that out with the other parent while you remain consistent and mind your own house.
- Some parents fail to discuss the children's shortcomings with the other parent. If the children have issues while with you, talk to the other parent since he or she may also have the same problem.
- You should refrain from sending messages to the other parent through your children. It's not their job.
- Some parents refuse to work together as a team. You may no longer be married, but you will always be parents and need to find a way to work together.
If you can keep these mistakes in mind when you create your parenting plan, then you may just find a way to increase the odds of a successful co-parenting relationship.