Most parents who divorce continue to have their differences from time to time. Those who don’t are probably lying to each other or involved in some unhealthy power play where one is too scared to voice their opinions.
Disagreeing in itself is not a problem. It’s how you express your difference of opinion. That’s what you need to watch if you want to keep your disagreements from harming your kids.
Keep it peaceful
Raised voices instantly alert children to the fact that something is wrong. Seeing raised hands will do even more damage to them. Insults are not good either, as your child is part you and part your ex, so may decide the insults also pertain to them.
Peaceful doesn’t mean passive
Kids are genius at reading what adults really mean – especially when the adults are their parents. They know full well if your compliment is barbed. They understand when you’re just pretending not to hear. They may know that you didn’t forget to do something but just chose not to.
Passive aggression is not passive at all. If your kids know what you are up to, it can harm them just as much as more honest aggression.
You don’t need to like each other, but you need to show respect
Remember that your kids will learn from your actions. If they see that you can talk about things you disagree with calmly and move on without holding a grudge, they’ll learn to do that too.
Many parental disagreements come about through misunderstanding of how the law works. Getting informed can help reduce them and make co-parenting more pleasant for you and your children.