Co-Parenting Tips: How to Handle Opposite Rules in Other Parent’s Home

I have been co-parenting for about 14 years. With this experience of co-parenting have come some challenges, struggles and personal growth. You see, co-parenting isn’t easy by any means and when you co-parent with someone who is completely the opposite of you, it’s quite frustrating to say the least. I have been co-parenting my sons for about a handful of years but I took what I learned from the first child into my co-parenting situation with the father of my sons. Since I have watched co-parents put the kids in the middle for so long, argue and fight consistently and place their own kids under the impression that they are not free to love both parents, I work hard to share tips on what has worked for me and what I have learned in the last 14 years. Today I am sharing co-parenting tips – how to handle opposite rules in other parent’s home as a means to guide you towards having happier, well-balanced kids who don’t feel guilty loving both parents.

Co-Parenting Tips: How to Handle Opposite Rules in Other Parent’s Home

Get Over Yourself

That may sound harsh and well it is meant to be. If you are co-parenting with someone who destroyed you emotionally it will be difficult to get over your emotions. I say it should take about two years to get over the hurt that was caused in the breakdown of that relationship. Once you hit the two year mark of co-parenting, you should have been able to work through the hurt and be a better co-parent to your kids. Take up to two years to see a counselor, work through demons from the relationship and figure out a way you can come to peace with knowing your ex hurt you but the kids shouldn’t pay for it. You are just as imperfect as your ex, so get over yourself.

Never Utter a Mean Word

Kids hear everything, even when you think the kids are not listening, they are! Learn to never utter a mean word about the other parent whenever the kids are awake. Part of co-parenting is working together to raise your children without harming their self-esteem and love for their other parent. While you may see fault in the co-parent, the kids do not see this. All kids see is that their Mom and Dad love them, care for them and are there for them. Allow your kids to learn the faults in their parents on their own, it is not up to you to brainwash the kid to hating their other parent. If you must vent about the co-parent do so on a kid-free weekend/night or when they are fast asleep and there’s no chance they will hear you.

Accept the Other Parent’s Rules

You and the other parent will rarely have the same exact rules. Learn to accept that the other parent has their set of rules and it is not your place to step on their toes. If your kids come home saying that they are allowed to do something at their other parent’s house and you are not okay with it, set up a meeting to discuss this concern with the co-parent in a way that leads to resolve. When the co-parent refuses to budget on their rules, simply accept it and teach your kids that Mom and Dad have different rules. That Mom and Dad live in different houses and that’s part of having two homes, they get to have different rules and it’s kind of exciting, right?! Make it fun but respectful. Encourage your kids to respect rules regardless of which home they are in.

Learn from the Co-parent

Sometimes you can learn from having different rules in the other parents home. In my scenario for example, my first born is my eldest of 3 children so how I treat her is different than her Dad because she is her Dad’s only child. Get what I mean? Each of us could possibly learn something from another because of our differences in our daughter’s “birth order” for each household. Take time to learn from your co-parent, each of you should still be able to learn something new in the parenting world without attacking. Sometimes the answer on how to handle opposite rules in the other parent’s home is to figure out why they have that rule, why they think that way and truly hear them out. You can still keep your own set of rules, but understanding why they have these rules will help you be a better co-parent to your kid. When you understand why the co-parent has this rule, you can better teach your kid to respect that rule because you have taken the time to hear why the co-parent has this rule.

It isn't easy to co-parent with someone who is the complete opposite of you #coparenting Click To Tweet

There you have it a few ways you can learn how to handle opposite rules at the other parent’s home. Mind you, co-parenting is rarely as easy as I make it sound typing it out on paper but I am blessed in that I have one co-parent who I constantly have to comprehend where he’s coming from to try to respect and teach my daughter to respect him while the other co-parent and I can communicate, get on common ground and be peaceful at all times when it comes to raising our sons. The joy of having opposite co-parenting scenarios is that I can try my best to help others see how co-parenting doesn’t have to be a nightmare. You truly can find middle ground to make it work!

Brandy Ellen is a lover of motherhood, life and pizza. She spends her days writing in her office and managing websites with her man: RetweetChores, Tacks.io & Roundups.io . During her free time she can be found Tweeting, networking on Facebook and playing Minecraft with her family. Co-Author with her daughter, Positive Girl – The Power of Your Thoughts , Brandy firmly believes that a positive attitude can take you a long way. Words matter, choose them wisely.

It isn't easy to co-parent with someone who is the complete opposite of you, but it's important to learn how. Personal growth should happen, at some point!

8 Replies to “Co-Parenting Tips: How to Handle Opposite Rules in Other Parent’s Home”

  1. This is awesome I grew up going back and forth. There were for sure different more lax rules at my dads than my moms.

  2. I struggle with this with my husband. He is a lot more lenient. Then again, he gets upset when the kids get too wild with him, so he usually realizes that my stricter rules are there for a reason lol!

  3. I co-parent with my boys dad and we get along great, which is super helpful. I get along well with his wife and they all get along with my new hubby. It’s a great situation.

  4. In some ways over the years I felt like I’ve been coparenting with my in-laws. When my kids go over there the roads are completely different and way more lenient in terms of being able to do whatever they want. It’s a delicate balance trying to figure out how to deal in those situations.

  5. This is an awesome article. Finding common ground with your partner is very important otherwise you’ll be sending mixed messages to your kids.

  6. Annemarie LeBlanc says: Reply

    I understand how difficult this situation must be for both parents. It is also confusing for the child to have to deal with two different sets of rules. I think the co-parents must reach a compromise, like a list of “do’s and don’ts” so the child won’t get confused.

  7. Co-parenting is definitely NOT easy. These are great tips to help any one struggling in this situation.

  8. I had divorced parents and I was queen of saying one parent let’s me do this ect…. it really is about team work in the end. Making rules and boundaries together.

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