Parents in Tennessee who are in the midst of a co-parenting arrangement know how difficult it can be to raise a child when the parent do not cohabitate. Whether the parent is recently split from an ex-spouse or has just finalized a child custody arrangement with the other parent, the parenting process can be more challenging than for parents who cohabitate. Common mistakes that parents make during this time of change can revolve around the high-emotions often felt by both parties. Losing your temper, using your child as a messenger and fighting in front of the child should all be avoided.
Understanding what ‘sends you over the edge,’ so to speak, is a great way to avoid these pitfalls. For instance, if one parent undermines the other’s authority or shows up late to meet the other parent and the child, these are common triggers that can lead to unwanted behavior that can damage the children. If a parent engages in these types of behaviors, the other parent should try to understand how they can better diffuse the situation by keeping emotions in check. This can be done by setting ground rules to avoid these ‘triggers’ that lead to problems.
Apologizing is a great way to diffuse a negative situation and move forward. Although this is easier said than done for some parents whose relationship is already damaged, consider biting the bullet and apologizing for engaging in any not-so-perfect behaviors that have upset the other parent. In the long run, a respectful and communicative relationship between a child’s parents is only going to benefit the child. This is often the aspect which both parents in a child custody arrangement can agree on.
Laying out ground rules in the child custody arrangement is a great way to avoid these disagreements and negativity before they even begin. Obviously, great communication is key. Parents should consider how they can meet each other half way during a child custody arrangement to benefit the best interests of the child.
Source: Huffington Post, “5 common post divorce parenting mistakes,” Hanif Verani, Feb. 19, 2016