Equally shared parenting offers a way for both parents to forge equivalent and deep bonds with their children. Parents collaborate on childcare issues, great and small, and each spend about the same amount of time alone with their children. As a result, both become experts and both get to know their children emotionally and practically. When one parent leaves, the other is not an understudy who needs instruction or reminding.
Equal childraising also means that your children will be exposed at length to basic social differences between two parents, such as different ways of playing or preparing dinner or running an errand. Kids get to experience full days with just Dad or just Mom, and learn both Mom’s and Dad’s way of navigating through fun, crises and chores.
Furthermore, two parents on equal footing are forced to iron out differences in parenting styles and arrive at a best-odds solution when necessary.
Equally shared parenting absolutely requires a mother to let go of needing to be everything to her child, and to release control of her child’s life to the partnership of two parents instead. She must not only abdicate her dictatorship, but she must stop evaluating her peer husband on his parenting skills as if she were the teacher and he the student. She must get out of the way.
More so than the other three domains, equally shared childraising requires so much communication between two parents that it can seem onerous at times. Frequently, the detailed plans of each day must be known by both parents. Both must know exactly when they are ‘on’ with the kids and who has pooped, bathed, eaten, and napped. Then, on a continual basis, both parents must communicate the status of child-centered ‘to-do’ tasks such as scheduling doctor appointments, buying presents and responding ‘yes’ or ‘no’ for upcoming birthday party invitations, or making cookies for preschool snack time.
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