Family, Criminal & Children's Court Attorneys Since 1991

How to discipline your child when co-parenting

On Behalf of | Apr 14, 2024 | Custody and Parenting Time |

How parents living in the same house approach discipline can be challenging and a source of conflict, and this can even worsen when co-parenting. Nonetheless, it’s possible to raise a disciplined child after a divorce.

You and your co-parent can successfully discipline your child when they make a mistake despite living in different homes. Here are four tips to help you:

Have consistent rules 

It can be beneficial if your child follows the same rules and limits in both homes. While their experience can be different, certain things can be maintained, such as bedtime, screen time, dietary restrictions, house chores and safety rules. 

Be honest

You and your co-parent should be honest about your child’s behaviors. If they make a mistake when with you, inform the other parent. Keeping secrets can negatively impact your co-parenting experience. 

When you are adequately informed about your child’s behavior, perhaps they have had a tantrum the whole week, you will know how to handle them after an exchange.

Don’t let your child know you disagree with the other parent’s discipline measures

If you disagree with the other parent’s discipline approach, let them know, not your child. When your child knows you think the other parent’s discipline choices are wrong,  they may start ignoring what they are told, as they know you will defend them.

You and the other parent should always find common ground when you can’t agree on discipline.

Don’t avoid disciplining your child

After divorce, some parents always want to be the “favorite” or “fun” parent. So, they choose not to discipline their child – they leave it to the other parent. If you do this, your decision can negatively impact your child’s behavior. They should know they can get into trouble in both homes.

Co-parenting and discipline can be complicated. Consider legal guidance to find approaches that work for you.