When Parents Disagree on Discipline

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When Parents Disagree on Discipline
Learn 8 tips for presenting a united front with your kids so they don't divide and conquer.

Tip #4: Check in with the other parent to see if they’ve already made a decision.

Many children will use the one-liner, “Dad said that I could” to get what they want. When hearing this line from your child, a wise thing to do is to actually ask the other parent if s/he has already given approval to your child’s request. Again, this demonstrates to your child that as parents you are united and will support each other. Usually your child starts back peddling if s/he is trying to manipulate you.

Tip #5: Develop 3-4 family rules that you can agree to follow up with consistently using the same discipline method.

One of the best methods for two parents to be consistent is to develop a few family rules for behaviors that are most important in your family. For instance, all families should have a rule that “No one’s body will be hurt by hitting, kicking, biting, etc.” A consistent discipline action should be applied by both parents when physical aggression occurs.

Parents will never agree on how to handle all offenses, but if parents respond consistently to the top three behaviors, it will make a significant impact.

Tip #6: Agree that smaller offenses can be handled at the discretion of the parent in charge.

Once you have your family rules in place, try not to sweat the small stuff. It can be beneficial for children to learn different methods of problem-solving and communication, so if your spouse parents a little differently, it may actually benefit your child. For instance, some parents are better at using humor to move through tough situations and if you’re open to it, you can learn what works more effectively with each child.

Tip #7: Never say, “Wait ‘til your father (or mother) gets home!”

When a statement like this is made it undermines the authority of the parent who says it and makes the other parent the “bad cop.” It’s important that you both share equally in disciplining your children.

Tip #8: Use positive discipline methods that work.

Many parents use time outs, yell or take away privileges as their top three discipline options. If those methods aren’t working for you it can be frustrating and lead to more arguments if you’re not feeling successful. If you feel like you’ve tried everything and
nothing seems to work, you can learn 10 positive disciplinemethods that work. Begin by checking out this resource: http://www.getparentinghelpnow.com


By Toni Schutta, Parent Coach, M.A., L.P. Visit http://www.getparentinghelpnow.com  to receive a free copy of the report, “3 Essential Strategies to Get Your Kids to Listen the First Time."

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