It is hard enough disciplining a child these days with all the controversy on what is appropriate and what isn’t. Do we risk having our children taken away from us by using a swat now and then or do we use what they call positive disciplining, reinforcing children’s good behavior? Personally, I don’t see how we can ignore bad behavior, and I know that I was a stubborn child that needed a swat on more than one occasion.
Disciplining children after divorce is going to be challenging. Communication between parents isn’t always the greatest and children may be pushing the envelope a bit more than usual because they are craving attention or having a hard time dealing with the divorce.
Though you and your spouse may not be together anymore, it is essential that you parent on familiar ground. Openly and honestly discuss the parameters with your former spouse and your children so that when discipline is needed the consequences are understood and consistent.
Consistency is the key to successful discipline. I understand the difficulty, but your children must know that particular behavior is not tolerated and that there will be consequences. Sometimes I find myself after a hard days’ work coming home to a daughter that wants nothing more than to push my buttons or just see how much she can get away with. I admit sometimes I just give in and let it go. Idle threats make for a long night. But when I take action and follow-through, things seem to get better.
Consistency is about being strong and standing firm. Even if our partner is not on board and things are more relaxed at their place it is still important to teach your children that there are consequences for their behavior.
Discipline teaches our children that there is a consequence for their actions, it teaches self-control, and it reinforces our love for them. Keep minor misdeeds and bad behavior from escalating to major outbursts by standing firm and being consistent.