Summer Parenting Styles
May 24, 2017
BY: Francesca O'Cathain, Esq.
Being A Parent During The Summer
My parenting style in the summer is very relaxed. As long as the kids are safe, healthy and happy, I am not one to stress over naps, bedtimes, food choices, etc. My kids are used to this, and thrive on it. However, I know many kids and families where my relaxed-parenting time schedule would not be beneficial to the children as they thrive on more structure.
While many intact families stress over how to handle situations when parents have different parenting styles, I see this magnified greatly when parents are learning to co-parent post separation or divorce.
When parents have different parenting styles and decisions such as: food choices, bedtime routines, nap schedules, discipline methods, and activities, it can be difficult to navigate.
There is no easy answer in learning how to co-parent. In fact, I think accepting that the other parent is allowed to parent as they see fit (within reason) is often one of the biggest challenges facing separated or divorced parents.
Clients often complain that they feed their kids organic food, and the other parent feeds them junk food. This is tricky as we all want the best for our children but we also all have the right to parent as we see fit (within reason).
Communication Goes a Long Way
There is no easy solution, but communication is key. I would recommend having discussions over parenting styles and routines as much as possible. Although you may not want to, it may be worth sitting down with your co-parent and discussing things such as bedtime, discipline methods, food choices, etc. to avoid any surprises. If communication is an issue, I normally recommend that this conversation be had with a third party (such as a therapist) to make sure that neither party feels that his/her parenting styles is under attack.
If, as a parent, you feel that the other parent’s parenting styles are truly jeopardizing the health and welfare of your child, then you may consider speaking with your child’s pediatrician to determine if there is a real concern over the issues.