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3 parenting issues that can cause conflict between co-parents

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2024 | Family Law & Divorce

Ideally, by the time parents have a custody order in place, they have found a way to work together for the benefit of their children. Parents who can cooperatively co-parent can make the new family arrangements less stressful for their children.

Conflict between the adults is one of the most damaging elements of transitioning from a shared family home to a co-parenting scenario. Not only are parents likely to fight during the initial transition, but they may find themselves embroiled in disputes when certain issues eventually arise.

Many of the disagreements that cause co-parenting conflicts are reasonably predictable. For example, the following challenges are common enough that parents potentially need to discuss them proactively to avoid future co-parenting conflicts.

Technology issues

There are many concerns related to modern technology that can complicate co-parenting arrangements. For example, parents may have different ideas about how much screen time is appropriate for preschool-aged children. They might disagree about when teenagers can use social media or what social media platforms are acceptable. They might even fight about who purchases the devices and pays for monthly service fees. Taking the time to establish reasonable rules for technology use can defuse a common source of co-parenting disputes.

Academic expectations

Divorce and other stressful experiences tend to negatively affect children’s school performance. Most young adults bounce back within a year or so and can continue their academic pursuits with minimal disruption. Unfortunately, some teenagers might lean into the behavioral disruption caused by a divorce. They might cut school or stop turning in their homework. Parents need to have shared standards regarding academic performance for their children. That way, they can enforce those standards consistently between their households.

Social habits

A middle schooler’s desire to spend time with friends could diminish the parenting time of one adult in the family. That could lead to resentment between the parents. Other times, the type of socialization a young adult desires could be a cause of conflict. Parents may need to set an age after which dating is acceptable. They may need to establish rules about going to parties, ranging from grade school slumber parties to high school parties without adult supervision. The more consistent adults are about upholding and enforcing rules about young adult socialization, the less likely children are to try to manipulate their parents, possibly by pitting them against each other.

Parents who take the time to discuss complicated matters related to raising their children proactively can theoretically prevent a large fraction of the disputes they may have with each other. Integrating thoughtful terms into a parenting plan can significantly decrease the risk of conflict between co-parents accordingly.

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