Updated: Jun 19, 2020
Disciplining your child is never easy. You probably know from experience and mistakes how important it is to be consistent, firm and to always follow through with designated disciplinary consequences. But when there are two parents involved, it’s crucial they are both on the same page and apply discipline consistently regardless of marital status.
Parents should agree on how to discipline their children. To become reliable to children, both parents must be consistent in dealing with similar situations. In a situation where the parents are separated or divorced, disagreeing with each other over upbringing can create a confusing situation for children. They should make a concerted effort to keep their child’s best interests at heart and sit down with their child and line out the rules and expectations and the consequences for violating those rules. Both should agree that the intended discipline is fair, and apply it consistently in a firm yet fair manner in each home.
Clear guidelines, a daily routine and agreed upon house rules help a great deal when you are sharing the care of your children with others. Not only do parents have to follow the same agenda but so should grandparents, babysitters, and nannies. Before you leave your child in the care of other people spend some time explaining the sort of behavior you expect and don't allow. Kids get confused when they are exposed to different ways of doing things all the time. Some grandparents might be stricter or a softie that gives in to every whim, allow each to develop their own special relationship with each child as long as it doesn't undermine your efforts.
If you are returning to work and the child care arrangement is more permanent a shared understanding of the basic rules is essential. Sometimes parents have strong feelings of guilt when they return back to work and leave their child in the care of others. Sometimes this results in a relaxation of the rules at home after work. but you are not helping your child because you have guilty feelings. , spend quality time with them but don't throw the rules out the window. children feel safe, secure and happy when everyone in their life are caring for them in the same way. Also when you relax the rules it's not fair to the caregiver, who has to pick up the pieces the next day. take time to chat with your caregiver about whats happening at home.
In addition, if there are disagreements regarding discipline or other parenting issues, they are best resolved when the child is not present. If the child senses discord, they may attempt to manipulate the situation to their advantage. If their continues to be problems coming to a agreement as to how the child is to be disciplined or differences on what is a discipline issue ,it might be wise to ask for the help of a counselor or 3rd party to help aid in bringing parents back to compromising together for the sake of the child they love.
When teaching good behavior, parents should "practice what they preach." Children learn values and beliefs more by examples adults set than by verbal instructions. Decide what is important and what parental response to use to teach your child. It would be more effective to calmly tell your child to be quiet or use "time-out" when a child is physically aggressive.
And remember what works now may not work later down the road. Situations may dictate a different approach, and time and maturity may demand a child’s rule be modified or abolished altogether. Sometimes your common sense will help you decide when bedtime rules should be modified or table manners relaxed. Some rules will be the same, others will be modified or abolished, and new ones will be introduced. But regardless of the situation, parents should always present a unified front and work together and not against each other in providing effective discipline for their child.