Ask One, Then The Other
How do you handle a child who doesn’t take “no” for an answer, but instead quietly goes to the other parent and asks the same question?
Kids can be crafty, especially when it comes to getting what they want. And this can be challenging when you and your partner or ex-partner don’t share the same parenting philosophy. But kids need consistency and predictability in their lives, and they do best when they know they can count on their parents to say what they mean and mean what they say.
Plan A is that you and your (ex-)partner have a unified parenting approach, one that you can both feel good about and can maintain even when your partner isn’t around. If that’s not possible, at least agree with your co-parent that the two of you will discuss major (and perhaps not-so-major) decisions as required. Share some across-the-board rules with your kids that everyone in the family abides by. And don’t hesitate to let your child know that you’ll need to discuss her question with Mom/Dad before you commit. If you make that your go-to response, it won’t take long for her to realize that her old strategy isn’t so effective anymore.