Exploring Parenting Style: Authoritative Parenting vs Co-Parenting

Authoritative Parenting vs Co-Parenting

More than 3.6 million babies are born every year in the United States, so there are a lot of children living in America. However, each childhood will be different depending on where a child lives and who is raising them. 

Different approaches to parenting, such as authoritative parenting, can have a huge impact on your child’s development. So it is incredibly important to be aware of your parenting style. 

After a separation, you and your ex-partner need to agree on a parenting style. Talking parents often find it easier to create cohesion for their child across both households. So set aside time with your ex to figure out your parenting strategy.

Want to know more about how to maintain an authoritative approach to parenting after getting divorced? Then you’re in the right place. Read on to find out everything you need to know about authoritative parenting and co-parenting. 

What is Authoritative Parenting? 

An authoritative approach to raising children focuses on boundaries and communication. 

Authoritative parents set rules and consequences but always explain why these rules exist. They also take their child’s emotional reaction to rules and boundaries into account.

For example, you might say, “I understand that you find this frustrating, do you understand why this rule is important?” You may also have conversations about how they feel if they have been told off.

The goal is to create a safe, familiar, and positive environment for your child. Communicating with them validates their feelings and helps them understand the world around them. 

How Do Children Benefit From Authoritative, Talking Parents?

Authoritative parenting helps your children grow up in a secure environment.

Studies show that this kind of parenting promotes secure parent-child attachment styles. So your children feel comfortable discussing their feelings and asking for help.

This also improves emotional intelligence in adulthood.

Authoritative Parenting in a Co-Parenting Arrangement 

Authoritative parenting encourages your child to speak about their emotions. Because of this, it can be very valuable during and after a separation.

It also encourages you to recognize that your children might “act out” for different reasons. So you can explore this with them in more depth. 

However, it is very important that both parents engage in this parenting style. Otherwise, your children may find going between their different households very emotionally confusing.

So can you successfully co-parent while taking an authoritative approach? Let’s take a closer look at ways to integrate this parenting style into a co-parenting arrangement. 

Focus on Your Child’s Relationship With Both Parents 

Authoritative parenting helps to strengthen the relationship that you have with your child. However, after a separation, it is important to focus on the relationship that your child has with both parents. 

As exes can do this by supporting one another’s parenting approach. For example, your child might ask you why the other parent asked them not to do something.

Reinforcing the importance of this boundary and explaining it to your child will help them understand it better. So they feel more comfortable opening up to both parents.

Make Sure That You Are on the Same Page 

Authoritative parenting only works if it is consistent. So you and your ex need to be on the same page about certain rules and boundaries. If you aren’t, this can become confusing for your children. 

Set aside some time to talk to your ex about your parenting approach. You can also use this discussion to create consistent: 

  • Routines 
  • Bedtime schedules 
  • Rewards
  • Rules 
  • Consequences for breaking rules

This also makes it easier for your child to transition from one household to the other. 

It is important that you don’t do this in front of your children. This shields them from any conflict or disagreements that you might have. It also helps your children see you as a united front even though you have separated.

Talking Parents: Communicate About Issues When They Come Up

If your child does open up to you about how they’re feeling be sure to share this with your ex. 

This might involve encouraging them to have a conversation with your child. Or it could be as simple as mentioning that they have been anxious, worried, or confused by something that week.

This helps both of you to stay aware of what is going on with your children. So you can keep an eye out for emotions that might affect their behavior.

You could even set aside some time to talk about these issues together as a family if your child feels comfortable with that. This will support parent-child communication in both households.

Pick Your Battles 

No parent is perfect and even authoritative parenting can slide sometimes. It can be frustrating when this happens after a separation. However, it is important to pick your battles with your ex. 

For example, it probably isn’t worth calling your ex out if your child says they ate ice cream every day on vacation!

Certain rules, such as bedtimes or screen time, may also be less strict during vacations. This is to be expected and you can talk to your child about changes as they happen. 

That said if you notice that your ex isn’t enforcing the same boundaries as you on a regular basis, it is a good idea to discuss this with them.

Try to frame this conversation around your collective approach to parenting. Focus on promoting the benefit of boundaries and consistency for your child. This will help you keep these discussions focused and non-confrontational.

Get Support With Your Co-Parenting Arrangement

Authoritative, talking parents can be incredibly supportive of their children after a separation.

Authoritative parenting gives your children space to talk about their worries and other feelings. This will help to strengthen the relationship they have with both you and your ex. 

Are you looking for more support managing your co-parenting schedule? Then start your 14-day trial of 2houses now. We’re here to help.

20 Journal Prompts for Your Divorce Journal

Divorce journal

Have you recently gone through a divorce?

Getting divorced brings up many negative emotions within us. It is essential to let these negative emotions out through a healthy outlet. One way to reflect on these emotions is through daily writing in a journal.

Did you know that journaling is a form of meditative practice? Journaling the right way can help improve your perspective and mental health.

However, you can only reap the benefits if you do it right. Not sure what to write in your divorce journal? Then keep reading for twenty relationship journal prompts.

1. When Did You Realize it Was a Toxic Relationship?

Writing this down can give you strength when you are doubting yourself. Leaving someone is hard when you’re used to being with them. You may even start gaslighting yourself into thinking that the relationship was not that bad.

2. Is There a Pattern of Toxic Relationships in Your Life?

Think about other relationships you’ve had.

If you find yourself drawn to toxic partners, reflect on why. Did your parents have an unhealthy relationship? Do you have problems contributing to this?

Knowing what causes you to stay in toxic relationships is important. This helps you avoid toxic relationships in the future. You may also talk to a therapist who can help you resolve some issues you have contributing to this.

3. When Was the Last Time You Felt Good About Your Relationship?

It is good to get both good and bad aspects of your relationship. Hating your partner would only plant negative emotions in your heart.

Try looking back on the good moments of your relationship. This helps you have a more balanced view of your ex-partner. Knowing your partner’s good traits is crucial when you’re divorced but need to co-parent.

4. If Your Loved One Was in the Same Situation, What Advice Would You Tell Them?

One of the best pieces of advice is to treat yourself like how you would treat a loved one. We are often self-critical and fail to see things in a balanced or empathetic way. Treating yourself like you would a loved one will help you treat yourself with more kindness.

5. What Was the Last Straw That Made You Leave?

The last straw is often not one situation; reflecting on it may show you other accumulated problems. Unresolved issues or trauma in your last relationship might carry on in your next one.

It is essential to reflect on the last straw and think of ways you could have prevented it. How did you react? Do you think you handled it the right way?

6. What’s the Biggest Lesson You’ve Learned?

All relationships give us lessons. A toxic relationship might have taught us red flags to look out for or what we want in a partner. Carry these lessons to heart so you do not repeat them.

7. What Boundaries Do You Plan to Set With Your Next Partner?

Setting the right boundaries with a partner is a key component of a healthy relationship. What boundaries were not honored in your past relationship? How can you enforce and communicate your boundaries better?

8. Are You Letting Yourself Feel How You Want To?

There is no right or wrong way to feel during a divorce. Stop bottling up your emotions and allow yourself to process what you’re feeling.

9. If You Were to Write a Letter to Your Ex-partner, What Would it Say?

Some things are better left unsaid. There may be some hurtful things that come to mind about your partner. Vent it out without hurting others by writing it in your journal.

10. Write Every Negative Emotion You Feel and Why.

As mentioned, it’s important to vent out what you’re feeling. But it also helps to reflect on why.

If you’re angry, what parts of the relationship made you feel so? Are you sad because it’s over or sad because it happened?

11. How Would an Ideal Partner Treat You?

Jotting down these traits would be helpful when you are in your next relationship. We often overlook red flags during the honeymoon phase. Writing down what our ideal partner should be like helps us get a clearer picture of what we should look for.

12. What Did Your Partner Criticize the Most?

During arguments, our partners might say hurtful things about us. Was it true? If it is how can we make ourselves better.

If it’s not, determine what you can do to heal or move past it. Many people say things they don’t mean in the heat of the moment. It isn’t fair to trap yourself in something your ex-partner said.

13. What are You Doing for Self-care Right Now?

It’s easy to succumb to stress during a divorce and let yourself go. That’s why you should always practice self-care. Write down self-care goals or what you are doing to pamper yourself during this time.

14. Name 3 Things You’re Grateful For

Studies show that writing things we are grateful for can help our mental health. During a divorce, it may become easy to have tunnel vision of negative thoughts.

Looking at other things in your life besides the divorce helps you fight this spiral.

Take a moment and look at the things you are grateful for. You could be grateful for your strength in leaving a toxic relationship. You can write about how grateful you are for your beautiful children.

You can name more than three things to be grateful for, or even begin with one if you are having a hard time. But practicing gratefulness will help you feel happier.

15. What Are Your Love Languages? How Do You Express Them?

Knowing your love language is important to building a healthy relationship. This allows you to better understand yourself and helps your new partner know the best way to love you.

16. What Regrets Do You Have?

Nobody is perfect. Reflecting back on things we regret isn’t only about regretting them. It’s also about holding ourselves accountable.

17. What Would a Healthy Relationship Look Like?

What does a healthy relationship look like to you? Is it about romantic dates, compromises, and surprises? Or is it being there in times you need it the most?

Defining a healthy relationship helps us have a blueprint of what to do in our next relationship.

18. What Were the Biggest Issues You Faced With Your Ex-partner?

Identify the biggest problems you had with your ex-partner. Were your fights avoidable? Could you have handled it better?

19. Do You Think True Love Exists?

Do you believe in soul mates? Does true love exist? Is love a choice or a commitment?

These are some of the things you need to think about when answering this question. Everyone has a different definition or belief of true love.

20. What’s Holding You Back?

If you know the kind of partner you want to have, what is holding you back? Determine how you can work on yourself so you can get the relationship you want.

Healing From a Past Relationship With a Divorce Journal

After a divorce, it’s normal to feel confused, angry, depressed, or even numb. All your emotions are valid, and it’s crucial to be able to understand them on your own. Try answering these prompts in your divorce journal and see if you can get a better understanding of yourself.

Are you co-parenting with your ex-partner? We have a way to make it easier on both parties. Contact us today.

How to Organize Joint Custody in a Blended Family

custody schedule

Each year, more than 630,000 couples in America get divorced. This can be a very difficult time both emotionally and practically. After all, getting divorced requires a lot of logistical planning, especially if you have kids.

More than 1 million American children see their parents divorce each year. So your child isn’t alone in this experience. However, it is still incredibly important to handle this transition carefully. 

Organizing a custody schedule as soon as possible will create stability in your children’s life. Are you wondering how to organize a joint custody schedule in your blended family? Then you’re in the right place. 

Read on to find out our top tips for creating a co-parenting schedule that works for everyone.

Accept That Co-Parenting Can Be Difficult

The majority of parents don’t set out planning to separate. So this can be a very emotional and uncertain time. It is natural to feel concerned for your children and yourself. 

However, getting emotional while putting together a child custody schedule can work against you. Because of this, make sure you have a lot of support around you.

Trusted friends and family members can offer advice and give you room to vent about the process. No one is expecting you to find this easy, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Put Your Child’s Needs First in Your Custody Schedule 

No matter what has happened during your separation, you should always put your child’s needs first. This can be easier said than done. After all, it usually means that you get to spend less time with your children overall.

That said, your custody schedule is there to support your child’s relationship with both of their parents. So it should serve this. It should also support their individual needs and create stability in their life. 

During the process, it is important not to put your child on the spot. You shouldn’t ask them directly what they want. This can be emotionally stressful and might make them feel guilty for picking one parent over the other. 

However, you can ask them if they have any worries or concerns following the separation. This lets them share their wants and needs. It will also make them feel like they are being listened to and prioritized.

Look at Different Schedule Options 

50-50 custody schedule is not your only option when it comes to childcare. In fact, trying to split child custody down the middle can be very difficult.

This gets harder when you factor in your child’s other commitments, such as school and playdates. So you may want to consider different schedule options. 

Some parents alternate weeks with their children. Others use a 2-2-3 or 2-2-5 plan. These involve children spending: 

  • Two days with each parent followed by 
  • Three days with one parent or five days with one parent 

At the end of the week, the schedule flips. So each parent ends up getting seven days with their children every two weeks. However, in this arrangement, you never have to go longer than five days without seeing your child!

Other parents may not have the flexibility to manage this schedule. For example, your work schedule may make it difficult. In that case, you might alternate weekends with your children and have a family dinner once a week.

This really is about finding what works for you and your children. So make sure you prioritize that.

Set Aside Time to Communicate 

After a divorce or separation, you might want some time and space from your ex. However, this can mean that the only time you see them is when dropping off or collecting your kids.

This is not a good time to discuss child custody arrangements or anything else. In fact, these discussions should never happen in front of the children. 

Instead, set aside a time that works for you both and decide the best way to communicate. That way you can both come to the conversation with your thoughts prepared.

Pick Your Battles 

Co-parenting can be very difficult. While parenting, you and your spouse can present a united front to your children. However, after a separation, the dynamic can change a lot. 

The emotional fallout of your divorce might mean it is harder to call your ex out on certain behavior. So think carefully before picking up on an issue. 

Obviously, you and your ex need to be on the same page about certain issues, such as discipline. However, when it comes to the occasional late night or mistimed dessert, pick your battles. This will save you a lot of energy and can help things run more smoothly with your ex.

If you are concerned about a larger issue, set aside time to talk about this. It can also help to get support from a mediator for these conversations.

Stay Flexible and Review Your Arrangements 

Stability is incredibly important for children and can help them feel emotionally secure. So try to create a consistent schedule that you can stick to.

However, this doesn’t mean that you have to be totally rigid. A little flexibility from time to time won’t disturb your kids too much. And it can help your relationship with your ex. 

It is also important to check in on how well your schedule is working for everyone. Try to give it a month or so and then review your arrangements.

If they work, then that’s great! If not, it might be time to go back to the drawing board and adjust them.

Get Help Organizing Your Custody Exchange Schedule 

When it comes to putting together a custody schedule, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

Instead, the most important thing is to put your children’s needs first. This may be challenging at times and can be very emotional. So make sure you have plenty of support around while you navigate life with your blended family. 

2houses is also here to provide practical support. Our calendars make it easy to access your schedule and communicate with your ex. Find out more and start your 14-day trial now!