Two Separate Homes, One Set of Rules, How To Agree On Discipline

Consistency in rules and discipline is very important for kids. Emotionally, they need limits and consequences, and they look to parents to provide these important qualities. Divorce can affect children in many different ways, so parents  must work together to come up with a plan for consistent discipline in their separate homes.

In this Divorced Fathers Rights Guide we will discuss how to develop united rules for each home and what discipline will be used.

Developing a Plan for Consistent Discipline

Do you and your ex-spouse agree on issues of right and wrong and how they should be addressed?  If you do, you’ve got half the battle won.

If there are significant disagreements between you and your ex over appropriate disciplinary measures, then you’ll need to discuss your differences. You should never put down their mother, say that she is wrong, or really discuss these issues with the children. In fact, for the sake of the children, you might want to visit a family counselor with your ex or read a few books on parenting that you can agree on.

This isn’t to say you and your ex will ever be exactly the same when it comes to discipline. The chances are, one of you will be more strict than the other. But being as similar in your approach and as consistent as possible will help you children immensely. Wide disparities in rules and consequences confuse children and can lead to them taking advantage of the lack of clarity. It can also become a source of hostility between children and parents.

Determining the Rules and Consequences

Sit down privately with your ex-spouse and come up with a working set of rules. The list should include such things as bed time, meals and snacking, curfews for older children, TV/Internet/phone time allowance, agreement about what entertainment is appropriate, rules for getting school assignments and homework done, guidelines for having friends over or staying over at friends, rules for dating for older kids, etc.

Also work on appropriate consequences for breaking the rules, and if you wish, appropriate rewards for keeping the rules. Again, don’t hesitate to get professional input on determining these things. It is in the enforcement of the rules that kids learn character and how to be self-controlled and regulated.

To establish a single set of rules and consistent discipline, parents will need to cooperate with one another, discuss these issues during custody hearings and be flexible where possible. If both parents keep what is best for the kids at the forefront of the discussion, a workable plan for rules, consequences and rewards that both can agree upon should be possible.