6 Tips For Adjusting To Shared Custody
Whether you began shared custody with your ex-spouse from an early age in the child’s life or moved to it later in their upbringing, there are several realities that come with this form of parenting that must be realized and accepted, if one is to become a successful partner in the process of raising the child into a healthy human being.
1. Don’t Let Guilt Guide You
Feeling guilt that you are not with them all the time can cause you to engage in dangerous allowances. Deborah Serani writes in Psychology Today that we need to realize “that granting wishes without limits is never good.”
2. Don’t Use the Child as a Weapon or a Pawn
Also, realize that the child is a child, not a weapon in the battle of who “wins” the divorce or a pawn to punish the other for their actions. The child doesn’t need that kind of pressure, and your relationship with them will suffer for it.
3. Be Realistic
Kate Bayless reminds us in Parents Magazine that parents need to “be realistic” about the commitments to the child, relating to their schedule or availability. Making promises that you cannot keep will only create more friction.
4. Choose What’s Best for the Child
Kate also reminds parents that parenting is not about the parents but what’s best for the child. When your ex has more availability or a better solution to a child’s need, it is time to recognize that and let them provide it.
5. Keep Stability as the Goal
Sereni also reminds parents that the goal is not to one up the other parent but to “be boring.” Many parents that are still feeling the pains of conflict with the other parent, as they separate, may want to be the better parent. However, the child is just looking for stability and as much peace as possible. Respect the part your ex pays in the custody.
6. Be Happy
Finally, the best tip for making shared parenting truly successful is to just be a parent and make a happy home, when it is your time to do the job. Two happy homes are much better than the unhappy one you left, especially for the child’s wellbeing.
Making Shared Parenting Work
With a little awareness, a lot of love, and two people doing their part; shared parenting need not be a detriment to the growth and development of a child. If done right, it can provide a happy solution to the past and a secure foundation upon which the child can find their own happiness.