Discipline after divorce is always a struggle. One thing that can make it easier for the children and the parents is to be on the same page. Creating a discipline plan that is followed in two homes is hard work, but something that can make a world of difference for your children. Another obstacle that divorced parents face is that they don’t know where the line should be. They know that they have to give some with their children because of the situations that they have been exposed to. However, it is a delicate balance between giving too much and being too hard on them.
Tips for Cohesive Discipline
You need to try and become a team with your ex. This means that the two of you need to sit down together. If you can’t then you need to hire a mediator that can work with the both of you. Some parents find that they can simply work on big issues together. Others find that they prefer to work on all issues both big and strong. This includes things like television time and when the kids go to bed. It is important that you stay focused and work like business partners. Some co-parents find it easiest to do this with a list and an agenda of what they want to accomplish. Others can simply have a conversation and come to terms.
Following through and sticking to rules is another important factor in having success as co-parents. You want children to have consistency in the two homes. This includes having a set schedule or doing things a certain way. However, when this is sometimes impossible it is still important that you have follow through. You have to stick to your rules even if it means that you are the one that is considered mean or unfair by your children.
Sometimes You Won’t Agree
It is true that you are not going to agree all of the time. Chances are if you did agree all of the time that you would probably would still be together. So, there are going to be some rules that are different at each of your homes and this is okay. The thing is that your children are going to be able to adapt. They already adapt between different rules from home, school, activities, and family members’ homes. So adapting between mom and dad’s is really not going to be that much different.
Punishments Should Be in One Home
One of the biggest mistakes that separated and divorced parents make is that they attempt to have punishments that travel between the two homes. This is never going to work. Instead, punishments need to be at the home where the child broke the rule or had inappropriate behavior. Expecting the other parent to punish your child for something that they did at your house is not okay. Nor is it okay for your ex to try and determine what type of punishments that your child should have at your home. If the instance was something that happened outside of the home that is different but for things that happen in the home, punishments should stay in the home.
Raising a child is tough work. When two parents are not together, it is even harder. Finding a way to keep rules the same between two houses is hard enough. Add in trying to have similar types of punishments and similar discipline and it becomes almost a chore. If you learn to work together with your ex it is going to be best for your children. Since that is not always possible, you also must learn how you can manage the transition from one home to the other.