Do you often find that your ex and you don’t see eye to eye on raising your child? Does it seem that your child is having emotional issues, uncommon tantrums and more when returning from the other parents home? If you answered yes, then please read on.
Sharing households can be difficult for a child, especially if the households have two completely different parenting styles. Let’s say the other parent thinks it is okay to allow your child to stay up all hours of the night, get little sleep and then return the child to your home in an emotionally tired state, what do you do? First do not react in front of your child because it is not their fault the other parent is not allowing ample sleep time for your child. When you have calm down and your child is at nap or in bed for the night, call the other parent and discuss your concerns in a non-accusing way. Determine if there is a way for your ex and you to work out a similar sleep pattern as well as bed time routine for your child. If discussion seems out of the question you may resort to meeting with a family counselor or family mediator.
Sleeping routines is one area where the households may be completely different, what about discipline technique? Does your child find that one parent is extremely different than the other? Is your child often thrown into an emotional crying fit over something as small as breaking a crayon on accident? If yes, then maybe your child is stressing over the differences between households. If one parent is very calm about accidental mishaps and the other parent more extreme then your child will feel inadequate and not understand what a mistake is and what a truly bad action is. The best way to determine if your discipline styles are clashing between households would be first to talk to your child in a manner that does not ask direct questions such as, “Does Daddy do this..?”, phrase the question as, “I see you are emotional about breaking this crayon, it was only an accident. Why did you cry about it?” or something along those lines. Your child may not come out and directly state the other parent is more aggressive in their discipline technique but you know your child and you should know your ex as well, which means you can get a feel for the stress your child is having.
No matter what situation seems to be causing stress with your child, the point is; having two opposite parenting styles, although common, can affect your child in a negative way. As parents you wish to create a positive. learning environment for them, work with each other in a civil manner to alleviate the stress on your child. When working together and creating similarities between households you will find the end result will be a happier, healthier child both emotionally and physically.