How to Discipline Children in a Co-Parenting Family
Advice and suggestions for handling discipline in a co-parenting family.
When children spend their time split between each parent’s houses, there are several issues that may begin to arise. One of the issues that should be by all means avoided is having the children prefer one household over the other due to leniency in rules and discipline. The same rules must exist within each household in order for the children to learn the difference between right and wrong. Co-parenting may not be the easiest task, but it is one that is necessary.
One of the benefits that co-parenting provides is supplying the children with a close and fair relationship with both parties. Even though the parents may have their disagreements and different views, for the sake of the children, it is imperative that they put all issues aside and set some uniform rules that must be followed within both households. Co-parenting does not have to be difficult and stressful. Following a few simple rules can help to make this task as easy as possible.
One of the most important rules in co-parenting is to never talk bad about the other parent to the children. When children witness this behavior, they will then think it is okay for them to do the same. The children should not view their parents as enemies, but rather as a team, even though they may not live together anymore. When the children realize that the parents are a team, the child will no longer choose a favorite or take sides in any disagreements between the parents. Keeping the children out of the middle is extremely important.
As previously mentioned, there should be a uniform set of rules that is enforced in each household. If the children notice that they are able to get away with more at one house verses the other, that will in return cause the children to develop a favorite household for the wrong reasons. Some of the rules that should be the same in both households include bedtime, amount of television time, amount of snacks and sweets that are allowed, the amount of time put aside for homework and the type of language and manners that are used. The parents should come up with these rules together and work on making sure that they are equally enforced.
If a child misbehaves and is punished, the punishment should follow them to the other parent’s house as well. Children should not think they are off the hook once they go to visit the other parent. This will teach them that no matter what household they are in, they cannot get away with misbehaving.
These are just a few tips to help ensure that the co-parenting process can run smoothly without any bumps in the road.
Related: Parenting for Divorced Couples (YourTango.com)