It’s Never Too Late to Learn from Co-Parenting Mistakes
We understand that adjusting your parenting style after divorce can be challenging, especially when emotions run high when interacting with the other parent. However, part of becoming a better co-parent is to identify when you have made a mistake and take the necessary steps to make amends. Although co-parenting is fraught with various obstacles that can make it difficult for parents to cooperate, there is much that can be learned from the following co-parenting mistakes.
Using Your Children to Obtain Information About the Other Parent
When a parent becomes too involved in the other parent’s personal business and private life, they are sometimes tempted to pump the children for information. When this happens, the child is placed in the middle of the drama and ends up experiencing unnecessary stress. Children should never be responsible for balancing their parent’s life, nor should they be the carrier of information. If this has happened in the past, have a heart-to-heart with your children and apologize for anything you said to put them in an unfair situation. Explaining that you made an error and how you will change in the future will assure your children you are committed to learning from your past mistakes.
Arguing in Front of Your Children
One of the most difficult habits for co-parents to break is arguing with each other while their children are around. Making disparaging comments or disrespecting the other parent in front of your children, no matter how justified or tempting it might be, only creates confusion and guilt in your children. Try approaching the other parent in a different way when you get the sense that an argument might arise. Instead of trying to “win” the argument, focus exclusively on the emotional needs of the children and look for areas where a compromise can be reached.
Sharing Too Much About the Other Parent with Your Children
Inappropriate details about divorce, separation, and child custody, are revealed to children more often than co-parents might realize. Whether it’s ranting about having to go back to court to modify alimony and child support or discussing what the other parent won in the divorce, your children don’t need to know every detail about how the divorce impacts you personally. Children have enough on their plate and giving them more information than necessary can be overwhelming. If you find yourself venting to your children, consider speaking to a therapist or counselor.