Tips On How To Be An Informed Parent

Being Involved With The Decision Making Process Of Your Child

            While having a shared custody plan is one of the best desired outcomes for a custody dispute, it still takes time away from you that you could be spending with your children. In the fast moving world of American life, it’s important for parents in these kinds of situations to be well informed and up to date with their children’s lives; this means knowing what decisions the other parent is making that can affect your child. Nobody likes to be the one who doesn’t know what’s going on. Staying informed of what’s going on when your children are with your ex takes some time and effort in the form of maintaining a working relationship and communicating with each other. Some parents can find this a difficult task to undertake depending on how many negative feelings are still in effect. Here are some tips if you feel like you don’t have enough information to make the best educated decision you can.

  • Maintaining Lines Of Communication. It’s very beneficial for you if you are able to talk to your ex husband or wife without yelling or calling each other names. Not being able to talk to your ex increases the probability of decisions being made on your child’s behalf without you knowing about them. These decisions can be about what doctor they see, what church they go to, what school district they go to etc. If you can’t get along with the mother or father of the child, it’s going to make things much more difficult. The best advice to overcome this is to get over your guys’ anger towards each other. Whether your relationship ended because one or both of you was unfaithful or you simply got together too quickly and realized you weren’t right for each other, the fact remains that this is still a team effort and you need to do what it takes to raise your children right. This might mean getting back to basics and trying to be friends with your ex.
  • Be Proactive. Worst case scenario, you communicating with your ex just isn’t going to work. If you’re in this kind of situation, you’re going to need really be involved in your child’s life to know what’s going on. If you are sharing joint legal custody of your children, you do have the right to have your opinion considered in the decision making process; this can be much more difficult if you just have visitation and your ex has full legal custody. If they have primary control over what doctor your child sees or what school they attend, having a good relationship with the other parent is that much more important. Don’t just be a bystander in your child’s life. If you don’t know the doctor they see, make a call to their office and talk to them. If you don’t know anything about their teachers, pay them a visit or set up some kind of conference. The idea is to not be the one waiting for the information. Unfortunately there are people out there that hold information over their ex’s head. Being proactive about what you need to know about your child’s life prevents anybody using a lack of knowledge against you.

The bottom line is this: don’t get taken advantage of because you don’t know enough; It’s entirely possible to educate yourself on everything you need to know. The old saying about not squatting with your spurs on comes to mind here. Shooting yourself in the foot is, unfortunately, easy to do. Building and maintaining relationships, especially with an ex wife or ex husband, can be a delicate matter. Being clear headed and rational instead of emotionally compromised should be your mantra through this. There are always services that help facilitate the process of communication between two people that have trouble talking to each other. Mediation can be a great way to get everyone’s concerns out in the open and addressed by both parties; going to court should be a last resort.

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Posted in A Childs Best Interests, child custody battles, Divorce, Fathers Rights, Joint Custody, Parenting Tips, Power of Attorney

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