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CoParenting Infants: Typical Coparenting Issues

Co-parenting conflicts arise in conjunction with the developmental stage of the child. Knowing the issues that may arise as your child hits each developmental stage and careful advance planning can help you to set a foundation for avoiding those conflicts.

Each child is unique.

Each family is unique.

Despite being unique, the developmental stage of the child and the life cycle stage of the family will influence parenting and the relationship between coparents. 

In this article I will describe the issues that typically arise between coparents at the developmental stage of infancy,  the typical factors that are considered to resolve the conflict, as well as the factors that typically allow for deviation from generally accepted practices when negotiating conflicts about infants.


Examples of the relationship between the infant developmental stage and possible co-parenting conflicts:

  • When is a one week on and one week off schedule okay for the child?
  • How should nursing...
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What CoParenting Conflict is About Matters

The impact of destructive conflict between coparents on children differs in relation to what the conflicts are about.

Research studies have found that conflicts between coparents about finances and those about parenting time have the greatest negative impact on children.


Why does financial conflict have a disproportionally greater negative impact on children?


Divorce is, in many cases, extremely financially costly.

The cost of divorce forces many families to make financial readjustments. Some will experience serious financial consequences.  Parents may believe their financial well-being is threatened. The economic impacts of divorce may significantly increase stress and emotional distress of parents leading to high levels of conflict between parents of the kind that children are aware.

Children experience the parent's stress and conflict together with the concrete ways family economic circumstances are changing. Together, this kind of conflict tends to have...

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Constructive Conflict Isn't An Oxymoron. Some CoParent Conflict is OK

When it comes to the impact of coparenting conflict on children, there is a tendency to lump all conflict together in one heap and label it a villain of parental and, especially, child well-being. 

When creating and validating conflict management tools in research on coparenting,  conflict was often seen as a one dimensional construct that predicts family dysfunction and negative impacts on children's mental health.  However, this is an oversimplification.

Constructive and destructive conflict have different effects on the family and on children. 

It is destructive conflict that is harmful. That not all conflict is harmful is good news because it is unrealistic to set a goal of "No Conflict."

A goal of constructive conflict is attainable.

Transforming destructive conflict into constructive conflict can be motivated by the knowledge that it does not lead to harmful effects on children and that it increases the possibility for win-win solutions on tough problems...

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