Going through a divorce is never an easy task, and parenting your kids after a divorce can be nerve wracking if not handled properly. When you love your kids, you will agree with me that you always try to make decisions that you think are best for them regardless of what the other parent thinks.
After a divorce, parents tend to have differences and disagreements about how they should bring up their children, and it is at this point that their different parenting styles come into play. What one parent may see as an absolutely acceptable parenting preference may very well be the exact opposite of what the perception of the other parent is on an issue.
In this article, we are going to discuss tips on what you can do if you and your ex-partner do not agree on how to raise your kids post-divorce:
1. Try as much as possible to be realistic with expectations and limitations
Do not expect too much from your ex-partner with regards to his activities with your children. Always remember that individuals tend to have different strengths and weaknesses and that you are no exception as ex-partners. As much as possible, resist the urge to criticize the other parent in as far as their limitations and weaknesses are concerned.
For instance, it would be unrealistic to expect your ex-partner to cook a meal that you would rather have your children eat even when you know very well that they do not have the ability to prepare it.
2. Try as much as possible not to be over-controlling
Always try to resist the urge to be the one who always dictates what should and should not happen in your kids’ lives. For instance, if you have already agreed that your children will spend time with the other parent, be ready and willing to share them and give them the freedom to do whatever they wish with the other parent.
Learning how to concede control can be a daunting task, but it is possible.
3. Do not involve the children
As divorced parents, it is very important that you leave your children out of your personal fights and disagreements even if they seem like they are already coping with the divorce. When you have issues regarding conflicting parenting styles that you would want to address, it is advisable that you work it out with your spouse without necessarily dragging your children into it.
It is important that every parent strives to make their child’s or children’s post-divorce life as easy as possible.
4. Learn how to embrace the different beliefs of your ex-partner
Apart from having different rules, different beliefs can also play a very big role in bringing up children. For instance, both parents may have different religious beliefs, or one parent may not value religion as much as the other. In such a situation, conflict may arise and especially when one of you tries to enforce his or her religious beliefs on the children.
On the contrary, you should learn to accept that your ex-partner holds beliefs that are different from yours, and that the children could benefit from having different experiences in as much as religion is concerned.
However, if as parents you can agree that the children adapt to one religious belief system, then it would do them good.
5. Enroll for a co-parenting class
Many family and marriage institutions and law firms offer free or paid co-parenting classes that would help you in acquiring skills to parent effectively after a divorce.
6. Seek the advice of a divorce therapist
A divorce therapist would help you find a middle ground. For therapy to be effective, parents need to be open-minded about the possibility that the other parent is right. One parent must also be willing to drop an issue and especially if one parent knows more about parenting than the other.
7. Remember that both of you have one goal
No matter your personal differences, always remind yourself that both of you have the same goal of bringing up children that feel happy and loved, cared for, and well-adjusted. In order to achieve these goals, it would be important to focus more on any shared values you have as ex-partners.
For instance, rather than focusing on details of how your goals will be achieved, focus should be more on wanting the kids to have a life that is respectful and full of success.
Different parenting styles post-divorce may seem like a nightmare. However, every parent should focus on ensuring that they develop a healthy relationship with the children. As divorced parents, it is vital to be aware that the other parent may not be doing things exactly as you do them, and that they have equal rights in as far as access to the children is concerned.
If as parents you fail to agree on issues due to different parenting styles, it would be advisable to first and foremost settle your disagreements out of court before going the litigation way.
However, if you still have issues arising from varying parenting styles that you think would only be resolved in court, then do not hesitate to consult a divorce lawyer.