I don’t claim to be any more of an expert on child rearing than Tracy Moore [“Even at its best, co-parenting is the worst,” Friday Opinion, April 15]. However, setting an example of how to resolve differences in a civil and respectful way is, in my opinion, infinitely more valuable than making sure the daughter gets an Apple Watch as a preteen or enforcing a dress code to help resist.
Ms. Moore may welcome this opportunity to serve as a role model for how to gracefully navigate frustrating challenges.
Felicia Schwenk, Falls Church
Tracy Moore described problems with co-parenting among former partners, even under the best of circumstances. As a family therapist, I do not suggest that there are the same rules in every home. I don’t have data on what percentage of family therapists give this advice. More importantly, I believe this idea makes co-parenting in separate households more difficult than it needs to be. Differences drive couples apart and make decision-making stressful.
We underestimate the flexibility of children. It is extremely critical for parents and other caregivers to prioritize a relationship holder that demonstrates respect and cooperation between adults living in different households. Children can adapt to different rules, become more flexible and learn from exposure to various ways of life.
What is most stressful for children and adolescents is when their parents, both of whom are critical in their lives, are in conflict over parenting and other issues. So minimizing co-parenting decisions improves all relationships, reducing conflict and stress for everyone involved. In general, it is best when parents tolerate or, better yet, respect their co-parent’s differences, except when mutual decisions are unavoidable.
Liz Brenner, Waltham, Mass.