Behavioral problems during and after a divorce occur in children of all ages. While parents are often prepared to deal with these issues, not every parent knows what approach is best to take with his or her child. One option that can lead to problems later in life is deciding not to discipline your child. Parents who become more lenient during a divorce feel that giving a child more freedom will help him or her. In reality, there are many dangers associated with not disciplining your child during a divorce. Being aware of why discipline and structure are important, especially during a divorce, will help you provide your child with the environment he or she needs to prosper.
Problems in School
A child who does not expect to be punished for his or her behavior at home may eventually begin having problems in school. Behavioral problems may occur in school, but it is possible for a child to remain well behaved while experiencing a significant drop in grade point average or classroom participation. Researchers have found that outside influences have a large impact on a child’s ability to succeed in school. Lack of discipline in the form of bedtimes, enforcing homework routines, and encouraging your child to complete household chores can all lead to problems in school or extracurricular activities.
While a divorce is ongoing, communication between spouses is often strained and problems with a child can lead to even more tension. Inability to agree on boundaries or disciplinary actions can lead to more conflicts as you and your spouse attempt to co-parent. If you or your spouse are the only parent not enforcing previously established rules, it could create even more animosity as the parent trying to create a stable environment feels undermined. Both parents need to work together to provide structure and work together to make sure any misbehavior is punished in accordance with rules on which you both have previously agreed.
One of the largest issues parents have during a divorce is deciding a fair custody arrangement that they are both satisfied with. Though shared parenting is becoming more popular, most courts still award primary custody to one parent while the other parent is granted visitation. If you are in the middle of a custody dispute, your spouse may use your hesitance to discipline mutual children against you. Proving that you are not making your child do homework, stick to a curfew, or answer for bad behavior could all lead to the court feeling as though remaining with you is not in the best interest of the child.
Contact an Attorney
If you believe that your child’s lack of discipline is affecting your ability to obtain custody or putting your child into an unsafe situation, contacting a child custody and visitation attorney is important. A qualified attorney can answer your questions, review your situation, and give you advice for going forward legally. The team at Vayman & Teitelbaum realizes that as a parent, providing stability in a volatile situation is difficult. We are here to give you the support necessary to get you and your child through this hard period in your lives. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at one of our four Atlanta area locations so that we can begin giving you the legal assistance that you need.