My Ex And I Don’t Agree on Anything For Our Kids! How do I Change Their Parenting Style?

Unfortunately we’re going to have to start this blog off with bad news: you can’t. It’s not possible for one person to chance another, much less that person’s approach to parenting. Not unless the person being changed agrees to it. Because that right there is the crux of the matter – no one can be changed against their will. But, since you’ve known the other parent for a while, you probably already know that change does not come easily. If the other parent has a completely different approach to raising your kids than you do, there’s not a lot you can do to alter their opinions and beliefs. And that’s just something you’re going to have to make peace with. Many times, neither parent is completely right or completely wrong. It’s just a matter of style and opinion. But as you know, there are people all over mid-Michigan that have certain parenting styles that are just plain wrong. 

Two goats locking horns in a fight.
Locking horns with your ex can lead to more conflict, and less resolution. Learn to accept that you are not (and cannot be) in control of everything!

Parenting fact: If your kids are in danger, you need to report that!

Now, bear in mind that if your ex is parenting your kids in a way that you believe is dangerous to them, there are options available to you. If you think your children are being abused in any way, you can contact the Lansing Police or Children’s Protective Services to report your concerns. But if it’s just a matter of different opinions of what constitutes a reasonable bedtime, or how much candy a kid should be able to eat in one day, you’re going to have to work on letting go some of that control. We strongly advise you to not call the authorities unless there is criminal activity, or children are genuinely being abused or neglected. CPS and police officers are not social workers or judges. But judges take a dim view of frequent calls to police and CPS that are not necessary. When in doubt, in a non-emergency situation, check with your family law attorney first. Chances are that your attorney can address an important situation with your judge. 

Trying to change your ex is a waste of your energy!

Chances are, there were a number of things you didn’t appreciate about your ex during your marriage (which is probably one reason you’re now divorced!) or relationship. And chances are, you tried to change some of those things during the relationship, and didn’t have any luck. So think about it – if you couldn’t change your ex while you were both together, what makes you think you could change them now? It’s better to focus your energy where it can do some good – on your relationship with your kids. That’s what many of our judges in and around Lansing advise. 

There are positive ways to address parenting subjects with your ex.

If you and your ex can’t see eye-to-eye on something that really matters to you, there are options when it comes to addressing the subject with them. If you don’t have a contentious relationship with your spouse, you could try simply talking to them about the issue. However, for many people that simply isn’t an option. In that case, you could always try having the discussion with a teacher (if the subject is related to your child’s school performance) or your child’s therapist (if it’s to do with their mental or emotional wellbeing) and asking that person to reach out and address the issue with your ex. They may be more willing to take parenting advice or suggestions when it comes from someone other than you. Your attorney can also ask your judge for a court order that mandates counseling. 

You can’t control your ex, but you do have some control.

While you may not be able to control your ex’s opinions and beliefs, there are a lot of other areas where you do have a considerable amount of control. And that can make a huge difference to your child custody and visitation agreement. For example, your attitude in dealing with this situation is something that only you can control. And the mid-Michigan family law attorney you choose to hire is also a decision that you can make alone, but one that has very important repercussions for your parenting situation. 

The Kronzek Firm can help you deal with your Lansing-area custody concerns

Our highly skilled family lawyers have been working hand-in-hand with the parents in Lansing, Eaton County, Clinton County and the surrounding areas for decades now in addressing child parenting time and custody concerns. Whether it’s a change of custody in Howell, increased visitation hours in Dewitt, or figuring out your initial custody agreement in Holt, we can help. The Kronzek Firm is a premier mid-Michigan law firm with a long history of success handling every type of family law subject imaginable. If you need help with a child related issue, call 517 866 1000 today and get the right help from the right attorneys.