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One common factor I notice will all parents; whether they are together or apart, is the need for each parent to be right. I find that most parents, mainly Moms, are frustrated with their partner or ex over the way they handle the children as well as various situations. This can be flipped, there are men out there who feel the women do nothing right either. It’s a battle for every parent, the struggle to be right and in control.
Just let it go.
It doesn’t matter if you are married, dating or single; the child needs both parents to be involved and both parents to show respect to each. It is far from easy for a Type-A personality person to let go of that need to be right or need to be in control. It’s not easy for someone to admit to mistakes made, but parenting isn’t easy either. I think there would be less issues with parenting if each adult were able to step back, see the other person’s side and admit they were wrong. Even if not admitting you were wrong, simply understand that other parents side of things can make a world of difference in how you two parent together.
For example; I don’t always handle situations correctly as a co-parent. I try my best. I do my hardest to be a Mom and to inform the other parents of events or what not going on. In the past I never really had to do this for two reasons; my daughter’s dad was so obsessed with being overly involved that he knew more than I did half the time and my ex husband and I lived together for a long period of time even after our divorce so he was up to par without me having to really say anything beyond our every day conversations.
As our children get older, I am coming to realize that there is a heavier need for parental conversations. There is a heavier need to be able to negotiate and communicate not only based on our needs or wants as a parent, but to hear what the child wants. It’s so important that the child be allowed to make some decisions on their own; I am an avid supporter for a child having the ability to make adjustments, within reason, to visitations schedules. They don’t need a “valid reason” in my opinion, unless it’s some drastic change such as not seeing the other parent at all.
When children get older, they start to have social needs and work needs of their own. The transition from one home to another can cause more anxiety than necessary on the child. Not every child will require these changes, but some simply cannot handle their pre-teen changes alongside the drastic transitional stages between parental households. It takes two parents to be open minded and have the ability to let go and realize sometimes a child needs one parent more than the other at different stages of life. This is okay and it’s not be taken as a hit for you being a bad parent.
Every child has a period of time in their life when they thrive best being more with Dad or more with Mom, it changes often. I wish more parents were able to step back and realize that, instead of taking it as some ego hit and downside. There are days and stages when my kids prefer Dad over Mom or Mom over Dad; it’s not a big deal. It’s normal. Accept it.