18 Feb “Effects of Divorce on Children Part 2” Avoiding Common Co-Parenting Traps
Children caught in the middle of a divorce or separation many times feel they are being juggled between homes, schedules and different expectations from each parent. This can lead to feelings of being a burden or inconvenience. Parents can help their children through this difficult time by avoiding some of the common traps in learning to parent together successfully. Parents need to realize they cannot assume a child understands expectations or rules or anything about a divorce or separation situation.
Open and clear communication is key to successful co-parenting. Everyone needs to be on the same page. If one parent is working hard to build a home life with one set of blue prints that are completely different than the other parent chaos and confusion will result. Here are some common parenting traps when co-parenting:
1) The use of technology can be beneficial and harmful at the same time. For parents who have an amiable relationship they can keep in regular up to date contact on how the child is doing and what needs to be addressed together as parents.
2) Technology can be harmful when the parent uses technology as tools for controlling interactions with the other parent, in attempts to (a) reduce conflicts, (b) withhold information, (c) convey information in a way that limited the ability of the co-parent to have input into child-rearing decisions, and (d) influence the behavior of the co-parent. Communication technology was used strategically by these co-parents: They purposefully employed the technology to achieve one or more goals that were not solely focused on sharing information with the other parent.
3) Being a “Disney-land” mom or dad in which most time spent together with the child is spent trying to become the favorite parent by showering child with presents and fun times and not addressing hurts or real life concerns
4) Harassing the other parent with phone calls or increasing conflict with the co-parent.
5) Emotionally unloading and discussing frustrations with the child about the ex-spouse
6) Asking the child to take sides directly or indirectly
7) Not taking responsibility for behaviors that negatively impact the child
8) Being more concerned about the ex-spouses new relationship and not focusing on parenting positively together
9) Not accepting the child’s anger or frustration over the divorce
Laura Fite LPC
If you would like help on how to better co-parent please contact Life Connection Counseling for child and adult individual and family sessions at 918 496-9588