Are You The "Bad Cop" or "Good Cop"?
If you and your co-parent take opposing roles in parenting your children, you’re not alone.
This is very common amongst divorced or separated parents who lack alignment in their parenting styles. It creates a "war-like" atmosphere and a
lack of synergy for healthy parenting and child development. Typically this occurs because one parent wants to be liked more by the child(ren) because they are competing with their co-parent. Sounds silly, right? Because after all the child(ren) want to love both their parents and not have to choose sides.
Are you and your co-parent taking on the roles of “good cop” and “bad cop” in your parenting styles?
Here a few scenarios:
Dad is the child’s best buddy every other weekend. They go fishing, play baseball and go out for ice cream. They are more or less having the time of their life together. Yet, during the week long mom is the queen of responsibilities making sure the children get their school work done on time and following a healthy lifestyle for growth.
Dad is very strict with rules and guidelines. Bedtime is at 8pm sharp and you must clean your plate before leaving the dinner table. On the other hand, mom is a sympathizer because she feels he’s too controlling and doesn't allow the kids to be kids. So when mom has them she lets them rule the house and do what they want with in reason.
Do you see the imbalance and confusion this causes children on how to behave when experiencing different structures within two-households?
At all costs, co-parents need to avoid being “cops.” Majority of the time, “playing cops” is to upset the other co-parent, yet they are really taking out their personal anger on the children instead of their ex-spouse/partner. Children aren’t weapons to fire off, they are little hearts who don’t have a voice when this type of destructive parenting occurs. Destructive co-parenting is costing your children’s mental and emotional health, their social life with other children, school work, and completing daily responsibilities.
Co-parents need to be amicable parents, coaches and teachers for their children in support of their childhood developmental years. As a role model, children need to understand how to cultivate healthy relationships with themselves and others while watching you first hand.
If you place your children in the middle of your emotional discord, then you neglect your role as a parent.
You end up teaching your children to be reactive versus responsible which doesn't allow them to develop a healthy relationship with themselves.
How can you and your co-parent find alignment in parenting your children? Consider talking to a co-parenting coach who can guide you to create a parenting style that works for the both of you, as your children deserve to thrive and be happy campers.