You know you are meant to work together to raise your children with your ex, but the truth is, you can’t imagine that happening right now.
In this case, co-parenting may be unrealistic. So you may need to consider parallel parenting instead.
It allows you to both parent in your own way
There is more than one way to get to a destination and parenting is no different. You both want the same thing broadly speaking – to raise well-rounded children – and there are many ways to do that.
If you believe in allowing your teenager the freedom to make their own mistakes just as you did at their age, then let them do that when they are with you. If your soon-to-be ex believes in keeping a hawk-like eye on them at all times, let them do that when the child is with them. Don’t argue with each other or criticize each other about your choices. You can have one set of rules for your house and another set of rules for their house.
Won’t that confuse the kids?
Children are used to navigating different sets of rules. They already know that what washes with you might not wash with their other parent and vice-versa. They know that they need to mind their language more when at school or Grandma’s than they do around their friends.
While being consistent about things might make it easier for children, the advantages will be lost if it comes at the cost of parental conflict. Parallel parenting can help you avoid that conflict. There are many ways to raise your children after a divorce and there is help available to learn to document them in a custody agreement.