Children who are going through a divorce will often try to find ways to push the limits. This might include trying to play one parent against the other, so both adults must take steps to ensure this doesn’t happen. Knowing some of the more common red flags that come with this situation might help you to avoid issues before they start.
Setting the terms of the parenting plan quickly after the separation can benefit the children. Some kids fare better knowing the rules from the start. This gives them the chance to adjust to the new way of life without being confused about what’s allowed and what isn’t. It also gives you and your ex way to discuss, and be on the same page about, what is acceptable and what isn’t.
Children can quickly learn which parent will allow what to happen. They will start to use that information to get their way. You have to watch for the good cop, bad cop scenario so that you can stop it quickly.
When your children try to play parents against each other, they will often tailor their requests to the parent they are asking. This is done in an attempt to exploit a specific situation and requires a clear response.
One of the most important things to remember is that you and your ex can work as a team to raise the children. Just because your marriage didn’t work out doesn’t mean that you have to act like you are on opposite sides of parenting. Freely discussing situations involving the children can help to prevent them from being able to get their way through manipulating the split.