Disciplining Children After Divorce: 2 Helpful Tips

An estimated 876,000 divorces are filed in the United States each year. Ending a marriage can present many challenges, but divorcing couples with children face unique challenges that must be resolved in order to maintain continuity for the children. One of these unique problems is consistent discipline for the children following a divorce.

If you are concerned about the effect your own divorce will have on your ability to discipline your children, here are two things you and your former spouse should be doing to help avoid potential conflicts in the future.

1. Discuss discipline methods with your former spouse, and try to find some common ground.

It's likely that you have a fairly good idea how your former spouse feels when it comes to disciplining the children, since this issue would have come up in your marriage.

Although your ideas may differ slightly, it's important that you both find some middle ground that you can agree on. Commit to being authoritative parents who set clear expectations for your children, and follow through on punishments completely.

By establishing these ground rules, you and your spouse will help maintain some consistency when it comes to disciplining your children, even though your methods may vary.

2. Don't undermine one another in front of the children.

Regardless of the personal feelings you may have toward your former spouse, it's important that you present a united front when it comes to disciplinary issues.

Children under the age of 6 often view the world in black and white. This means that when you and your former spouse diverge when it comes to discipline, your child could view one of you as being right and the other as being wrong. The parent viewed as being wrong could lose respect in the child's eyes.

Rather than undermining one another's disciplinary choices in front of the children, air your grievances in private. You can work together to make a decision both parties agree upon, then present the united decision to your children to maintain healthy parent-child relationships.

Just because you no longer share your life with a former spouse doesn't mean that you no longer have to work together, especially if you have children. Maintaining proper discipline after a divorce can be difficult, but when you and your former spouse agree to a discipline method and avoid undermining one another in front of the children, your kids will remain well-disciplined despite your divorce. 

For professional legal help, contact a company such as Pagel Family Law.