Make no mistake; parenting is tough, especially after a divorce or separation. It is natural to get into disagreements with your co-parent from time to time regarding your child’s care and upbringing.
One of the questions divorced parents grapple with is whether they should involve their kids in making parental decisions. The answer will depend on a number of factors such as the child’s age, level of maturity, the decisions in question and how they relate to both parents.
That said, here are two reasons why you might want to think twice before involving your child in making parenting decisions.
1. The risk of undermining each other in front of the child
It’s natural, and even healthy, to seek the child’s opinion regarding a matter that impacts them. However, if differences arise over certain subjects, then the child is likely to incline toward the parent that seems to be supportive of them. And this can be problematic in a number of ways. First, your differences might play out right before the child. And this can drive them to think one parent doesn’t “love them” as much.
Here is what the child might learn from the undermining parent:
- That manipulation is okay especially if they want to have their way
- That they can break the rules without necessarily facing the consequences
- That it is okay to alienate the undermined parent
2. The risk of putting the child in an awkward position
Your child ought to appreciate your authority at all times. Tasking a child with certain decision-making processes, however, can put them in an awkward situation where they might challenge your authority as an adult.
Parenting after divorce comes with its share of challenges. Find out how you can work out a parenting plan that safeguards your child’s best interests without undermining your authority.