It’s not uncommon for the difference in parenting styles between parents to become very apparent after separation. Children usually experience some transition time to get acclimated to the unique rhythms of each household.
Realizing you have little control over what happens “over there” at your ex-partner’s house is an issue many newly divorced parents need to let go of. All you’re really able to control is being clear about the expectations you have for your children and being consistent with them.
With the homework issue, for example, let your children know that they are responsible for getting their own homework done in time for school regardless of whether they are at mom’s or dad’s house.
You can also set up a discussion with your ex to discuss the transition between houses. Approach it with the intention of seeking cooperation and keeping your children’s best interests in mind. Be factual and describe what you see.
For example “When the kids come back to my house, they appear overtired and don’t have their homework done. They have a hard time getting to school the next day.” Leave any editorializing or judgment out. For example, “Aren’t you paying any attention? These kids are cranky and running wild at your house!” is not likely to foster open dialogue.
You must also be open for feedback on what’s going on at your house from your ex as well.
Success Strategist, coach and author, Carolyn B. Ellis, is the founder of ThriveAfterDivorce.com and ThrivePrinciples.com. Her mission is to empower others to turn adversity into opportunity so they can improve relationships, increase self-confidence and reach their highest potential. She is the award-winning author of The 7 Pitfalls of Single Parenting: What to Avoid to Help Your Children Thrive After Divorce. To receive a special gift, visit ThriveAfterDivorce.com.