When a couple decide to have children it is usually a joint decision and when a pregnancy is confirmed they will both inevitably throw themselves into getting organised for the baby’s arrival.
Parenting isn’t always easy even when you are in a secure loving relationship. Given human nature, it is likely that there will be differences of opinion even between happy and loving parents, about some aspects of each other’s parenting.
Co-parenting when your relationship has come to an end can, for some couples, be very difficult indeed. If parenting was difficult when you were together, then chances are it might still be when you aren’t.
Neither parent is going to have a personality transplant. The things that drove you nuts about his or her parenting styles when you were together, are likely to do the same after you separate……….if you let them.
How can you stop this happening?
You can, of course, choose to continue to let it get to you, waste a huge amount of emotional energy processing it trying to get him or her to change but this, in my view, would be completely pointless waste of your time and energy.
You could choose instead, to pick your battles, accept that your parenting styles are going to be different and try to work to your strengths as parents rather than your weaknesses.
None of us are perfect with all the answers……. despite what we might think.
Children need their parents to work together acknowledging their strengths and not exploiting their respective weaknesses. Children are resilient. They can cope with their parents splitting up, what they can’t cope with are both their parents, who they love dearly, fighting about them.
I recommend Christina McGee’s book Parenting Apart to many of my clients. It is an excellent book and is as much about managing the other parents “iffy” behaviour as supporting your children as you separate/divorce. Children always want their parents to stay together and in the absence of that, that they remain on good terms as their mum and dad.