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How do you approach discipline in co-parenting?

On Behalf of | Mar 6, 2024 | FAMILY LAW - Child Custody |

Discipline after a divorce can be different. You and the other parent may disagree on how to approach it in the two homes. But this doesn’t have to be difficult.

Below are two tips to help you:

Agree on the rules to employ in both homes

While you and the other parent may be on the same page about raising your child, you may each be subliminally competing to be the favorite parent. And this may mean not having rules. 

It can be concerning when your child starts using statements such as, “I’m allowed to do this in the other house,” or “the other parent allows me to go to bed late.” If they believe one parent is “the good guy,” your co-parenting may not yield the expected results.

Consider agreeing on the rules to use in both homes, including diet, language, bedtime, screen time and so on. Besides, inconsistent rules can be confusing for your child – they may find it challenging to cope with their new life. 

Avoid telling your child you disagree with the other parent’s punishment

You may not agree with every punishment the other parent employs. In such instances, talk to them to find common ground. Avoid telling your child that you disagree with the punishment or even letting them off the hook when you are with them, for example, allowing them to use their phone when they are grounded.

If your child has been grounded by the other parent and the intended period is not over during the exchange, the punishment should continue in your house. If you believe the mistake doesn’t warrant grounding, discuss the issue with the other parent.  

If you and the other parent constantly disagree on co-parenting, consider legal guidance to know the best way forward.