If you are a parent about to divorce, don’t be surprised if keeping your child in check becomes a challenge.
Children can sometimes act up as a subconscious way of expressing their upset over the divorce. What’s more, as you and your co-parent are unlikely to employ the exact same rules, your child might get confused about what is and is not acceptable. Or they may understand but try to exploit the situation and play you off against each other.
Here are some things you can do to reduce the chance of discipline problems:
Agree to some shared ground rules
This will obviously be much easier if your divorce is amicable. Keeping the basic rules the same in both households reduces the chance of problems.
Check-in with each other rather than just taking your child at their word
You tell your child they can’t watch a particular film because it is not suitable. They tell you they spent Halloween watching horror pics at their other parents. Before you flip out or give them the go-ahead, consider checking with the other parent.
Maybe they did watch a horror flick, but your ex did not know. Or maybe the movie was of a much lower rating than the one they are asking to watch now.
Don’t let them get away with things just because you’ve divorced
Divorce will be hard on your kids, but that does not mean it justifies inappropriate behavior. If you would have considered a particular action unacceptable when you were married, you probably should still do so.
Getting help to handle your divorce without too much conflict can pave the way for a better co-parenting relationship where you can work together to ensure your child behaves appropriately.