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Parenting Styles + Communication during and after divorce


The way you and your ex-partner approached parenting may have contributed to your divorce, or perhaps now, after the divorce, you've had to make changes to your parenting styles to accommodate your children better. Regardless, parenting in a divorced family is challenging.


Recently, my daughter asked me why we had to attend the family divorce class and mentioned writing an article about it for school. This made me realize that I needed to address the topic of divorce with my children, as some time had passed and the initial trauma had eased a bit.


In the first year after the divorce, I didn't think too much about it once we established a 2-2-3 schedule that seemed to work for us. I had moved on mentally, knowing that taking things day by day and at a slow pace could provide a new perspective. However, I now realize that my kids may not have had the same perspective.


The impact of divorce on the family dynamic is unpredictable. Triggers can bring back the trauma for both you and your children.


One thing you can do is strive for consistent messaging with your ex-partner regarding the children. If possible, try to align your parenting approaches and communicate to your kids that even though you and your ex are no longer together, you are still on the same page (though it's rarely easy).


My ex and I never discussed our parenting styles before having kids, and it turned out that we had very different approaches. While we are aligned in most situations, there are times when we disagree. We have accepted that we may not resolve these differences completely, but it's still important to occasionally sit down and discuss our disagreements on parenting topics.


I suggest making a monthly coffee meeting and creating a list of topics to discuss. Don't hesitate to express your disagreement, such as when your ex took the kids out of school early without consulting you or introduced a new partner without discussing how it may affect the children.


Common disagreements among divorced couples include:

  • Not respecting the decisions of the other parent

  • Doing something that may offend your ex-partner

  • Not maintaining a regular schedule

  • Failing to ask for the other's opinion

  • Lack of communication

Even though it may not always be easy, strive to address these issues so that everyone is more at ease and better informed.


May the parenting force be with you! It's not easy but do what is best for your children.



Erin

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