How do I handle co-parenting when my ex and I have very different parenting styles?

How do I handle co-parenting when my ex and I have very different parenting styles?


Dear Riley,

Navigating co-parenting is certainly a challenging task especially when you and your ex have differing views on parenting styles. Your concern is valid, as inconsistency between two households can be confusing for children, and in some cases, harmful.

However, we need to understand that different does not necessarily mean wrong. While you and your ex may have different approaches, it doesn’t mean that one is better than the other. The key lies in finding a middle ground that serves your child’s best interests, focusing on their emotional and physical well-being rather than getting entrenched in a battle of wills.

When we work with parents, we use the resource “Our Family in Two Homes.” This comprehensive guide, covers a wide range of topics relevant to separated families. It helps us work with you to focus on effective communication and scheduling and what’s really important for your children. The more you and your ex-spouse are on the same page when it comes to key parenting issues, the smoother the co-parenting will be.

Open and respectful communication is critical when discussing the differences in your parenting styles. When conflicts arise, try to separate your personal issues and feelings from what is genuinely best for your kids. It may also be useful to have a third-party neutral person, such as a mediator or parenting coordinator, to help navigate particularly complicated issues.

Remember, it’s not about ‘winning’ or proving that your style is the ‘right’ one. It’s about creating a stable, loving environment where your child can thrive, even if that environment exists across two homes.

Best Wishes,

Leanne Bamford

Child Consultant

*Name changed.

This is general information only.  Seek legal advice about your specific situation.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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