One thing that may surprise divorced Illinois parents is how different one parent's house rules can vary from the other. Often during visitation periods set by child custody orders, children may mention that rules are not the same at the other house. Maybe they're more lax; maybe more strict. For many divorced parents, this can be a keen source of vexation.
Still, no matter what these rules are, it is important that divorced parents make sure not to have heated arguments about these rules in front of the kids. Nor should one parent badmouth the other to the children about the issue, as that can often make matters worse.
By making disparaging comments about the other parent, children can often feel caught in the middle, or as if they need to take a side. Instead, if the matter is brought up in front of the children, it is often better to discuss any parenting issue in a calm manner which doesn't put either parent in a defensive position. In this way, children will see their parents working together calmly toward a common goal.
As many parents know, even in households which have not been changed by divorce, parents often take on different roles. Taking on different roles can often help develop and nourish the children further. The key is for the parents to be in agreement about the objectives.
Disciplining a child can be hard enough in just one household, but it can seem much more difficult when there are two households with two different sets of rules. Often, this can be very upsetting for Illinois parents, especially if the children bring up these differences during visits under joint custody. However, parents should make sure that, despite everything, they maintain amicable relationships with the other parent.
If differences do exist and discussion is to be held in front of the children, do it in a calm manner. If that's not possible, take the matter up in another venue. Make the goal the achievement of an acceptable middle ground that all can live with.
Source: HuffingtonPost.com, "The Hazards of Duking It Out: Why You Can't Fight In Front Of The Kids," Dr. Peggy Drexler, Aug. 9, 2012