When Arizona parents end a relationship, both will have to deal with the reality that they will have less time with their shared children. This can lead to the desire to maximize their parenting time, which is an understandable urge. However, some parents will make the false assumption that in order to make the most of their time, they need to court the favor of their children. In reality, this approach is not only detrimental to children, but it can also harm a parent's position if the child custody case goes before a court.
Kids needs stability and structure in order to thrive. Part of that structure involves appropriate discipline. Kids will begin to test the boundaries as they grow older, and parents are there to enforce the rules as needed. When one parent tries to alter the existing rules and expectations in order to become the "favorite," the system breaks down, and the child is likely to suffer.
If the issue were to go before a court of law, a parent who is not upholding the proper level of structure and discipline could be accused of failing to meet the child's needs. The other parent might make a compelling argument that such actions have placed the onus of the less-appealing side of parenthood squarely on their shoulders. By making efforts to become the "favorite" parent, that party could, in fact, lose time with his or her child.
Arizona parents must make concerted efforts to avoid the urge to try to earn the favor of their children. Kids will go through different periods during their lives, and feeling close with either or both parents will come and go. That is a normal part of childhood and adolescence, and parents who take action to try to influence their children's opinions of them can find those efforts detrimental during child custody cases.
Source: charlotteobserver.com, "Avoiding the "Most Popular Parent" contest in custody cases", Patra A. Sinner, April 6, 2016