Discipline for Divorced Parents
How to discipline children can be very different for divorced parents. You may have had a working relationship on the subject of discipline with the other parent when he or she lived with you. But now, you are on your own. How can you effectively discipline children when you are single parenting?
First, consider other forms of discipline besides spanking whether or not you believe in spanking your children. Tensions run high when the other parent is no longer in the home, and he or she may be upset with you for spanking the child even if you previously used this method of discipline. If your co-parent is angry enough, he or she may report you to a child protective agency which would be obligated to investigate you for child abuse. And, spanking may reflect badly on you if you go through a custody evaluation, since evaluators are often very attuned to any potential abuse.
Logical consequences are one effective disciplinary tactic that you can use. With this method, you let the child suffer the consequences of his or her actions. For example, if your child breaks your window, then the child must pay you for the replacement cost out of his or her allowance money.
Another way to discipline children is through the use of denial of privileges. In this case, if the child doesn't follow the rules, then he or she doesn't get to do an enjoyable activity such as play videogames for a certain time period.
Both logical consequences and denial of privileges are considered to be accepted forms of discipline which should not be viewed negatively by the courts, child protective agencies, or hopefully, your co-parent.
Divorced parents often struggle when a child's bad behavior mirrors that of the former partner's behavior. Don't take your anger at your ex on the child. Make sure that the consequence given is appropriate to the child's offense. It's not the child's fault that they remind you of your past relationship woes.
Single parents often have many pressures including work, parenting, housework and family obligations. Stress levels can run extremely high. Again, give consequences that are appropriate to the child's misdeed. If you are very tired or run down, it is acceptable to tell the child that you need time to think about the consequence, and that you will let him or her know what you decide.