Regardless of whether parents are divorced or happily married, children usually suffer, or they take advantage when their parents aren’t on the same page. A common theme is one parent being stricter when setting and enforcing rules while the other is more likely to let things slide.
When parents are divorced or separated, the inability to see eye-to-eye over raising their child can lead to escalated disagreements, such as differences over religion, education and healthcare decisions. While many parents may never resolve their own issues, they must come to an agreement and present a united front to co-parenting.
What’s the best approach for co-parents?
The American Academy of Pediatrics says research shows the most-effective parenting style to help kids adjust to major changes is “authoritative.” That doesn’t mean a military-type approach to enforcing rules but rather being firm and consistent. Both parents should also focus on creating and nurturing a positive, loving relationship.
Studies show children of divorce are more likely to thrive when rules are enforced equally in both households. Parents who routinely contradict each other may risk significantly damaging their child’s emotional well-being. In some cases, these differences are caused due to a lack of communication when establishing a parenting plan.
The key word is “compromise”
Parents with conflicting views or styles for raising their kids aren’t guaranteed to fail as long as they are willing to work towards a unified parenting approach. Moreover, parents with differing viewpoints can provide valuable wide-ranging perspectives for their kids. But the key is working respectfully with the other parent and not countermanding an agreed-upon set of rules.