No two people are alike, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that parents may have different parenting styles when raising their children — particularly when those parents are divorced.
There are some disciplinary issues that parents seem to argue about more than others. Understanding more about which areas of life are likely to produce conflicts can help you plan ahead and try to avoid them.
The biggest source of conflicts for co-parents
Some of the more common issues parents end up in conflict over include:
- Timelines: The decisions that you make early on regarding whether to sleep train your child, when to move them to their “big kid” bed and how much screen time to allow them can all affect their development. As your child ages, you may need to decide on a bedtime, how much time they work on homework, when they can get a phone and use it or their curfew. Reaching an agreement with your co-parent over these can make for contentious conversations.
- Values: Parents have often been raised differently from one another. There may be cultural, religious, and other ideological differences that impact how they celebrate holidays, what they eat, chores they should perform, or time they spend with relatives. Parental differences in opinions and a lack of compromise on these matters can give way to conflicts.
- Discipline: Perhaps one of the biggest issues that co-parents face is getting on the same page about disciplinary issues. Parents often struggle in agreeing about how they should punish a child for not performing chores, adhering to a curfew, using their phone when not allowed or performing poorly in school.
If you read any reliable literature about effective or positive co-parenting, you’ll read that the best thing that they can do is put up a united front when raising their kids. It is possible to achieve this no matter your relationship status. Take time to minimize the strife in your relationship in the interests of your kids — but never forget that you do have legal rights that can be enforced in court.