Raising a child when you and your co-parent have different parenting styles can lead to a number of potential complications. It may be a contributing factor in your divorce, or perhaps your child might use these differences to get their way.
It can be easy for a child to try to get what they want by saying, “Dad lets me do it all the time,” or vice-versa. Taking advantage of the situation can be even more common and problematic when you are trying to raise a child with different styles across different households after a divorce, so it is important to understand effective co-parenting methods for this situation.
Finding a middle ground when co-parenting
Psychologists explain that in order to make different parenting styles work in a co-parenting dynamic, being on the same page is an absolute must. This requires constant communication and a willingness to compromise on decisions both big and small. Even when one parent has priorities that the other does not agree with, consider finding a middle ground ahead of time and maybe even put your agreed-upon arrangement in writing.
Prioritizing your child’s interests over your own
In all child custody matters, the child’s best interests are what is most important. It is unfortunately common for co-parents with different parenting styles to lose sight of what will most benefit the child when they are advocating for the arrangement that will benefit them as individuals. When discussing a compromise between your conflicting parenting styles, consider whether or not the agreed-upon arrangement is good for your child as well.
It is rarely easy to arrive at a mutually-agreeable middle ground when you and your co-parent have different styles. There are a number of resources that can help, however, such as guided mediation and arbitration for child custody affairs.