Previously published in Examiner
Part 5 of the Making Joint Custody work series
Things a couple should not do when sharing joint custody
Do not play Santa Claus and buy the child’s love. Also remember to discipline the child when needed. You do not want to be the good guy while the child’s mother is seen as the bad mother or sole disciplinarian. The child should love and respect both parents equally. Also do not undermine the other parent’s rules or decisions; try to create the home environments to be as close to the same as possible. Some children adapt easily to change while others have a very hard time of it.
The research on divorce shows that children who have access to both parents fair out much better psychologically than children who do not. Children experience a great sense of loss and rejection when one parent is no longer active in their lives.
June Wallerstein did the most extensive study on children of divorced parents. The research was a longitudinal study on how divorced impacted upon childrens’ lives up to 10 years later. This research can also be extended to children of parents who were not married; but, the children had had amply contact with both parents before the separation. Therefore, Montreal couples living together should note these findings and each parent should treat each other as if they were legally married because the impact of children losing a parent they love will be the same.
Montreal Single Parents Meet up Group
For Montrealers looking for a meetup group to share experiences