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Disciplining Your Child Post-Divorce

The amount of stress individuals experience during divorce is substantial. Divorcing parents experience the added stress of raising a child in the midst of emotional upheaval too. The family law attorneys at Protokowicz & Rodier offer suggestions for easing the burden of child discipline after a divorce.

When children are involved, divorce takes a significant emotional toll on the entire family. Divorcing parents, as a result of their emotional exhaustion, may be reluctant to maintain their household policies and rules, both out of sympathy for their child and for their own sanity.

But disciplining a child after going through a divorce does not need to become a battle. It may in fact provide much needed stability for your child as they navigate their new living arrangements. Below are several tips for easing the stress of post-divorce child discipline.

Work Together

Consider meeting with your ex-spouse to develop a parenting plan. The plan could be simple and cover only major concerns such as school and visitation arrangements, or can contain guidelines for recurrent activities, such as how much television watching time your child should be allotted each day.

If you are concerned about communicating with your ex, it may be helpful to treat each parenting discussion like a business meeting. Meeting in cafes or restaurants rather than your home may also help to alleviate tensions during the meeting. If there are certain issues or rules on which you and your ex cannot agree, it may be in your best interest to create your own house regulations and guidelines and communicate such to your children.

Enforce Rules

Disciplining a child is a challenge in and of itself—a challenge which is compounded by the stress of a parental separation or split. Although maintaining can be especially difficult in the wake of a split, the consistency may prove beneficial for the entire family.

Even if you and your ex do not maintain the same house rules, remain firm in your enforcement of your own. While your child may resist at first, they will eventually adapt. Children often probe the pre-established limits, but will ultimately accept the security and consistency that the regulations provide them.

Localize Punishments

If your child misbehaves or breaks a rule that you have established, it is important that you enforce your punishment, but do not expect others to do so. Your ex, for example, should not be expected to extend the restrictions you have placed on your child in their household.

Punishments that are bound with household rules, such as reduced television time or reduced privileges for friend visits, should remain particularly localized. If you and your ex-spouse do in fact decide on a consistent discipline plan, be sure to communicate the types of infractions that are serious enough to warrant a discussion of discipline between you, and which can be left up to the individual parent.

Every divorce is unique, and as such, each set of parents must determine the methods of child discipline that are best for them. Specifically, when complex custody arrangements are a factor this discussion can become difficult or frustrating. Seeking out the council of an experienced family law attorney will aid in both the divorce or separation process and the determination of the child’s best interests.

For more information on navigating the challenges of divorce and child custody arrangements, contact the family law attorneys at Protokowicz & Rodier today.