If a child is in a sensitive state or is not thriving and proves to be the vulnerable child, this may exacerbate tensions between separated parents. A vulnerable child can make any parent worried and quickly become the focal point of your ‘failed’ relationship as feelings of parental inadequacy are arising in both of you. Parental differences become more apparent as your fledgling, fragile co-parenting relationship comes under closer scrutiny.

When neither of you has a clear view of the ‘bigger picture’ you are bound to make negative assumptions about one another’s parenting skills, particularly if your child is feeding you the information you want to hear. Your vision is blinkered as you only see your efforts and investments in your child’s life. Sometimes it’s hard to find a common solution and the ‘blame game’ is back on between you! You believe you have your child’s interests at heart and know exactly what is needed.

The other parent has their differing view, which is seen as conflicting with yours. When no one backs down your child’s needs may get lost in the fray while no resolution or compromise can be found.

First evaluate your own role to see how you can change the situation before shooting arrows at the other side. Showing flexibility shows you have moved on from your relationship. It may be hard to keep an open mind but it’s likely the other parent is trying to do their best in a very difficult situation with the skills they have. Above all, this is not about which parent ‘wins’ but finding a winning solution for your child.