There are so many pitfalls associated with dissolving a marriage, but one of the trickiest — and most crucial — is how you and your ex will handle the discipline of your children. Even though you and your former spouse are no longer under the same roof, your kids need consistent, loving discipline from both of you now more than ever.
When it comes to the daily reality of child rearing, newly-divorced moms and dads can slip up sometimes. They are still navigating a major transition to their own post-divorce lives, so it can be especially challenging to deal effectively with a child’s disruptive temper tantrums or stubborn resistance to doing homework.
Perhaps you were always the strict one. Maybe your ex is quick to forgive minor infractions like when one of the children repeatedly tries to stay up past bedtime. Nevertheless, the two of you can and should continue working as a team so the children have a reasonably structured life with sensible boundaries based on love, trust and respect.
There is no rulebook etched in stone regarding how exes should deal with their children’s disciplinary issues. Still, some suggestions like the following can help.
Advice for divorced co-parents dealing with the discipline of their children
- Each of you should have similar expectations for the kids for the sake of consistency and so they won’t gravitate to the home of the more lenient parent.
- Rules in one parent’s household about things like watching TV and cleaning their room should also be applied in the other parent’s home.
- Consequences for misbehavior in one parent’s home need to apply in the other parent’s home. The same goes for rewards for good behavior.
- Don’t think that the kids have been through so much already that imposing discipline feels like you are being too harsh. They still need to have limitations and follow rules at home and in school.
An experienced divorce attorney in North Dakota can be a good source of information about child custody issues.