Joint custody can be a challenge for even the most amicable of divorcing Louisiana parents. Arranging the time spent between each parent and child can be tricky. Sometimes, conquering the tricks of shared parenting may depend on things parents can avoid doing more so than what they need to do.
As described by Parents magazine, there are quite a few habits to avoid to help foster a successful co-parenting scheme for the well-being of your child.
Do not forget the children have schedules too
While it is important to not under-estimate your scheduling needs, such as work obligations, remember that your time sharing should point towards your children’s needs. The children’s social needs should not always take a back seat. This includes consideration of their activities, such as school, sports, activities and social life.
A child who must miss every birthday party of his or her friends' because weekends are with mom may experience a custodial disservice. Parents who make a point to work together to allow the children to enjoy normal social activities without over-consideration of whose parenting time it is may find it beneficial for their children.
Do not forget to leave the ego at the door
This consideration brings up another point. Parents should not always follow what their ego demands, or even pure equity. Custody really is all about the kids, not the parent. While the divorce was about the parents, the custody handling is about making a healthy living arrangement for the children.
As such, Parents magazine emphasizes that shared custody succeeds best when both parents put their egos aside and do not insist on 100-percent equity at all cost. What is best for the children is not always what feels best for the parent.
Do not forget to zip the mouth
Parents should refrain entirely from speaking negatively about each other. To insult the other parent within earshot of the child or directly to the child, even when accurate, may backfire, as children tend to internalize those insults, recognizing that they derive from that parent. A parent should also not forget that a bad spouse is not the same thing as a bad parent.
Do not pick battles not worth fighting about
Parents should not pick every battle and should limit them to only those that are very important, such as parenting time, vacations or which school the children should go to. Choice of snacks may not be worth a fight.