One important thing that can make post-divorce parenting go smoothly is if you and your ex have the same rules for your children. This gives them the same sort of structure and routine that they would have experienced during the marriage, and it can reduce conflict.
This can include having the same consequences when the rules are broken. For instance, maybe education has always been very important in your household. You tell your children that they cannot cut school and that they must do their homework on time. If they don’t, they know that they can expect to be grounded from their electronic devices.
Having this rule in just one home, but not the other, can undermine the effectiveness. Instead of teaching the children how to act and what is important, it just creates arguments. They may claim that “Mom lets me do this” or “Dad doesn’t punish me this way” to get out of the rules you’ve laid down. You and your ex will actively be working against one another.
This is why having a complete parenting plan is a good idea. It can help you stay on the same page and work together, and that is what’s best for the children. Of course, this is often difficult in practice; if your ex doesn’t agree with your stance, what do you do next? You can’t force them to agree with you, and your differences of opinion may even be why you decided to get divorced in the first place.
Always remember to put your children’s best interests first and to understand your legal rights as a parent.