Tips for Disciplining as a Step Parent


Published:

You ask your child to pick up his room, and you get a huge sigh and a roll of the eyes. What do you do next? Ask again? Give him an ultimatum? Ignore the attitude and hope he'll get to it? Disciplining children is one of the hardest things parents have to do, and in a blended family situation, it just gets even more complicated.

Children of divorce not only have to deal with going back and forth between two different households, often with different rules, they also have to deal with at least two – and sometimes three or four – parents and all of their expectations. Here are some tips to help minimize the power struggles in your blended family household.

• Be clear on the rules. Sit down at a time when all the children are there, and go over the expectations of the household. It's a good idea to write down the rules and consequences and post them in a common area so everyone is on the same page.

• Be consistent. It might be hard to punish a child that you only see every other weekend, but if you also have children who live with you full time, they will pick up on those inconsistencies. "If you encounter resistance, explain to the child, 'We want to treat you as we would treat any other child here,'" recommends Dr. John Simpson, a psychologist at Presbyterian Samaritan Counseling Center in Charlotte.

• Be ready for the "you're not my mother/father" retort. "Take that option off the table from the beginning," says Simpson. "You can tell the child, 'I may not be your biological parent, but I love a parent of yours, I'm being supportive of them, and I care for you.'" Remember, it's your home too, and you're not powerless to take action and discipline the children when necessary. If you don't, you will only wind up feeling frustrated and discouraged.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Content

Kid-Friendly Music Festivals in the Carolinas

Regional music festivals offer fun for the whole family.

Must-See Holiday Light Shows Across North Carolina

’Tis the season for dazzling light displays. Here are our top picks of holiday light show extravaganzas across the state.

Applying to NC Colleges? Take an Inside Look at 16 NC Public Schools

These profiles detail everything from student-to-faculty ratios to acceptance rates and the percentage of students who successfully graduate in four years.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Newsletter Sign-Up

Stay connected to what's going on for kids and families in the Triad by signing up for our FREE e-newsletters!

Subscribe

Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Annual Guides

Education Guide

The all-new 2015-2016 Education Guide is packed with everything parents need to know to navigate more than 500 education options and resources in the Triad, including area preschools, private schools, public school systems, charter schools, boarding schools and academic resources.

GPS [Go. Play. See]

It's your complete family guide to Triad living. Parents are busy and on the go. Use this guide to help you explore all this great area offers for families in Winston-Salem, Greensboro, High Point and surrounding communities.

Exceptional Child

For parents of kids with special needs, finding help and support can be challenging. We've compiled valuable resources for Triad parents in our latest annual publication, Exceptional Child, which is also available as a digital guide.