For separated or divorced parents, one of the hardest things to figure out can be how best to discipline the child(ren) following the separation or divorce. A united front can help create stability for the child(ren), as inconsistent disciplining can be confusing.
Below are some tips on how best to effectively discipline as co-parents:
Find common goals – Despite differing opinions, co-parents should try and find common ground so they can develop a plan for disciplining the child(ren). Co-parents should try their best to learn to compromise on rules that do not directly affect the health and/or well-being of the child(ren).
Don’t undermine the other parent – Even though you are no longer together, it is important to stay on the same team when it comes to co-parenting. If you think that your co-parent is too strict or too lenient, talking to your child(ren) about your opinions will likely do more harm than good.
Stay consistent – Try to preserve any rules that may have been set before the separation or divorce occurred. This can help make what can sometimes be a turbulent situation for a child more stable.
Stick to the plan – For example, if a child is grounded at one house, he or she should be grounded at both houses. Sticking to the agreed upon rules shows the child that he or she cannot pit one parent against the other or leave one house to go to the other to avoid discipline.
It is important that parents maintain open and honest communication in order to agree on guidelines and expectations for child(ren). If you or someone you know is having difficulties co-parenting or has questions about co-parenting or parenting agreements, contact one of our experienced family law attorneys today.