Handling Child Behavior Problems As A Single Or Co-Parent
Experienced Family Law Attorneys Give Positive Parenting Techniques For Divorced Parents
Parenting is never easy. You can have a strong partnership with your child’s other parent, extended family ready to help, and a vast support network, and it can still be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. Take away those supports, and the job becomes even harder.
Being a single parent or one who has to co-parent with an ex means that you face unique challenges. Working with an Arizona child custody lawyer to get the right custody and visitation agreement in place can make things a little easier. But when your child starts acting out, you need to make a plan for how to deal with that. Here are a few things you can do to address your child’s poor behavior if you are a single parent or are co-parenting with an ex:
Address the Underlying Causes Of Child Misbehavior
Bad behavior can sometimes be developmental. Kids like to press boundaries, and they lack impulse control. Sometimes, they just act up, no matter how good a parent you are or how good they usually are. However, if you are noticing an ongoing pattern of bad behavior that is not responding to your intervention, then there is likely a reason for it.
Children who have been through the divorce of their parents often have big feelings that they are struggling with, and they may act out in response. Children whose parents continue to be in conflict after the divorce are also likely to act out. If your child is regularly misbehaving, you should look beyond the behaviors and consider what the underlying causes are. You may need to work out your issues with your ex so that there is less conflict around your children, or you may need to consider counseling for your children or for the family together.
Setting Boundaries With Kids
Children need boundaries, and they need structure. When they don’t have clear boundaries or structure, they act out. They may act out because they don’t know what is expected of them, or they may act out because they feel insecure and don’t know how to express those feelings.
You can reduce misbehavior by creating consistency for your child. You will need to talk with your co-parent about establishing rules that will be enforced between both households. You will also need to create a consistent schedule of when your children are with each of you, as well as a schedule they will follow in both houses, such as bed times and meal times. If you are a single parent, you can create consistency by developing a basic schedule and sticking to it, as well as by establishing clear rules and enforcing them.
Set Clear Expectations For Your Child
Parents often think that their expectations are clear, though they have not articulated them clearly, and even though they may not always enforce them consistently. Children need to know what the rules are, and they need to know what the consequences will be for failing to follow the rules. The consequences need to be consistent.
You can talk through what reasonable expectations should be for your children with your co-parent, and then have a conversation with your children about what those are. Expectations may be things like keeping a clean room or finishing homework after school. Expectations may also be things like being respectful to adults or not hitting siblings. When you explain these rules to your children, you also need to explain the consequences for not following the rules, and you need to be consistent in enforcing them.
Creating a stable environment for your children will go a long way in addressing any behavioral problems they may have. You can start by creating a clear child custody agreement with your ex and abiding by it. If you continue to have conflict with your ex, you can take steps to shield your children from it so they are not affected and start to act out, or you can get family therapy to resolve those issues. Addressing conflict will go a long way toward not just reducing behavioral problems, but also promoting your children’s overall happiness and the strength of your family unit.
Call Professional Child Custody Attorneys In Arizona
Call My AZ Lawyers today to talk to a child custody lawyer about establishing a child custody agreement for your family, or about modifying your agreement if it’s needed. Creating the right child custody arrangement can protect your family and help your children get what they need for their happiness and healthy development. Our attorneys are ready to help you get the custody agreement that’s best for your family. Contact us today to talk with a family law lawyer about your needs. We serve clients through Phoenix, Glendale, Mesa, and Tucson.
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