Pennsylvania children of divorced parents who split their time between two households may face contradictions when it comes to house rules. Parental rules on the things ranging from food choices to bedtime to entertainment options may change depending on which house the child is staying in. Too many contradictions in co-parenting could have a detrimental mental and emotional effect on the children involved.

Ideally, divorced parents will meet together face-to-face and come up with a uniform set of rules that apply regardless of which home their child is staying in. This allows parents to show their children that they still have respect for their ex-mate. When appropriate, parents may include their children in the rule-making process.

Parenting classes with a therapist can coach parents on how to compromise with each other when setting guidelines for child rearing. During these classes, parents may be helped to see the damage imposing contradictory rules in their homes can have on their children in the long run. Alternatively, participating in mediation can help divorced parents come to a compromise when the rules they want for their children are drastically different.

Flexibility is a must for successful co-parenting. Each party must learn how to give in to the wishes of their ex-spouse while at the same time understanding when there is a need to stand firm. If parents feel that contradictory rules are putting their child’s safety in jeopardy, they may have a judge intervene and re-evaluate custody issues.

A family law attorney can often provide assistance to a parent who feels their ex-spouse is creating an unsafe environment for their child. The most important consideration during these types of disputes is the best interests of the child.