Parenting isn’t always easy, especially you’re adjusting to being a co-parent. While you might not be married, you and your ex still share the goal of raising your kids well. One key part of that is co-parenting discipline. Good but fair discipline can help your kids with the adjustment process…
Establish some ground rules
One key aspect of co-parenting discipline is you and your ex setting up some basic ground rules. Now, it makes sense that you both might have different ideas when it comes to parenting. However, you shouldn’t focus too much on where you differ.
Rather, you’ll want to see where you both share common ideas. For example, maybe you both can agree on a basic bedtime or limits on screen time. You might also be able to agree on basic ways to handle when the kids misbehave. Doing so helps create a set of consistent rules shared between both houses.
Communicate with each other
Communication is important for co-parenting in general. However, it’s especially important for co-parenting discipline. Things become much easier for both you and your ex when you can get on the same page. Not to mention that your kids will also benefit too.
It’s useful to have a phone call or talk with your ex each week to check on how the kids are doing. This is also a good time to bring up any behavioral issues you’ve noticed. You won’t want to blame these issues on your ex alone. Rather, try to work together to find a way to address it and help your kids.
Consistency is key for co-parenting discipline. If you don’t stick to your own rules, then your kids aren’t going to take them seriously. It’s a lot harder to get them on board if they think the rules don’t matter. Therefore, you both have to be consistent with both your rules, and discipline for when they’re broken.
Now, that doesn’t mean you have to be an authoritarian. It’s fine to let things like bedtimes or chores slip every now and then, especially for special situations. The main thing is that these should be infrequent rather than the norm.