What makes successful co-parenting

This week my younger brother from Copenhagen has come to visit me, Dee and the rest of the family. One thing that we love to do is talk about the cultural differences between the Danish lifestyle and the British lifestyle.

Our parents divorced when my Brother, Søren was still at school and so we often reminisce and talk about his experiences as a child being brought up in Britain VS. Denmark. We talk about the education system and societies’s perception of children. Parenting is also a very hot topic.

Upon arrival into my home my brother questioned why Dee hasn’t got a T.V in her bedroom. Actually, his exact comment was; “Why are you raising her like the Amish, and stuff?”. I laughed…And was secretly offended.

We often come face-to-face with people with opposing views about upbringing and lifestyle. We smile and get on with it. Co-parenting is no different, except we are compelled to confront our differences and this can present some unique challenges, as well as benefits, which I explained to my brother.

I’m  a parent that values rules and routine. I like the emphasis to be on learning and educational activities. This year, for example, Dee and I have worked together to tell a story using stop-animation. We designed the characters together and mapped out a story line. It was fun. We have discovered apps to teach children coding and worked together to create commands to bring our vision and ideas to life.  Friday is Cheerleading and Saturday is Piano. We practice piano daily and complete homework the day it is given.

At Padre’s it’s different. They talk about their favourite T.V shows, spend hours at the park and equally as long gaming. Dee wants to know what it is like playing the new map that has been released on their favourite game and likes to explore the back story of all the characters. Dee does things when she feels like it and Papa follows.

Having opposing views when it comes to parenting is something that all parents experience at some stage, but in order for co-parenting to work it is something that needs to be acknowledged and accepted and here’s how:

  • Respect the fact that the other parent may want to parent in a different way to you. Respect their idea of what their role as a parent is. Don’t belittle their attempts at parenting their way.
  • Perseverance. Just keep at it! There are going to be times when you really don’t support what the other parent may be thinking of doing or wanting to do. Be patient and go with it. Things usually balance out and children these days are often vocal if they don’t like or don’t want to do something. Parents these days usually listen.
  • Be flexible and ready to adapt. You might have visions of creating a jam packed extra-curricular timetable for the lil’ one, however it might not be possible as circumstances and contact routines change. Remember, your parenting style should never impose on the style of the other parent, unless discussed and agreed beforehand.

It takes a lot of perseverance to overcome such differences and  create some understanding in order to work together but it most certainly is worth it. Although you may not see eye-to-eye, you can create a positive environment and feel in control of your parenting in a way that is fair for everyone.

 

 

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