Co-parenting is difficult and requires substantial patience and cooperation. Social media, however, can add unnecessary pitfalls which can further complicate the family’s lives after divorce or separation.
There are several rules of the road which should govern the use of social media. These go a long way of helping to assure the children’s well-being and effective co-parenting.
First, parents should always remember that social media provides unique access to a family’s personal life. It should not be used to vent feelings or frustrations.
It may be tempting to shame the other parent who is not meeting their obligations. But airing these disagreements on social media is counterproductive. It is hurtful for the children and can cause self-esteem issues and parental alienation. Also, these posts become gossip and amusement for people in the network who have no ability to change the parents’ behavior.
Likewise, arguments are not uncommon in co-parenting. These disagreements should be resolved in a respectful and constructive manner. Posting arguments is only entertainment for the members of the network and can prolong and worsen disagreements.
The other parent may also have children from another relationship who are essentially innocent bystanders to any problems that the parents have. There should be no posts comparing the time and money spent on different children or how they are treated. Posts should also respect their privacy and any issues should be discussed confidentiality.
Finally, a parent should not stalk the other other’s social media account when they are with the children. This should not be used to control or criticize their parenting, unless the children are being used or are in danger. Parents, instead, should concentrate on the time they spend with their children.
Custody and parenting time are important issues when a relationship ends. An attorney can help assure that these matters are resolved fairly and in the best interests of the children. Legal representation may also be needed when a parent is violating these orders or changes are needed.