Making joint child custody work for infants and divorced parents
Divorced parents often agree that sharing responsibilities for raising children with an ex-spouse can be a lot of work. Co-parenting and scheduling time with the children and compromising is difficult. Such challenges are made worse when infants are involved in a joint custody agreement.
In Orange County, California, parents have become accustomed to a more gender-neutral style of parenting. However, when the child is still an infant, it can be difficult. Raising an infant requires both parents to ensure that things work out collectively. Co-parenting may be tough, but if parents are willing to set aside their personal feelings and cooperate, it is possible to be dependable, loving parents.
A recent article discusses these challenges and provides good tips that may help parents avoid an unpleasant child custody battle involving an infant, recently referred to as a “diaper war.” Custody battles may lead to more animosity between the parents, causing unintentional emotional damage to the child.
Parents need to avoid stress, especially in front of the children. Stress can easily affect the infant, who in turn can suffer from those same stresses. Parents who have a positive outlook will positively affect the child.
The situation requires patience. For example, a father needs to be understanding while the child is still breastfeeding. Very rarely do mothers intentionally prolong breastfeeding beyond a reasonable amount of time.
Brushing up on parenting skills can prove beneficial. Parents, especially fathers, may find it difficult to handle the child at times, especially during overnight visits when the infant may be experiencing separation anxiety. Raising an infant in and of itself presents many challenges that require both parents to be patient and attentive to the child’s needs.
Joint custody and gender-neutral parenting have changed child-rearing. Divorced parents must learn to collaborate and support each other for the child’s sake. A family law professional may be able to provide advice on how to handle particularly tough issues surrounding joint custody of an infant.
Source: Huffington Post, “Easing Transitions Between Two Homes in the ‘Tender Years’,” Tara Fass, April 26, 2013