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Disciplining Style Differences of Divorced Parents Essay

Introduction
Families come in all shapes and sizes. Some families have two parents in the home, others are ran by single parents, while others have stepmothers and stepfathers with children having biological and half-siblings. These dynamics are intriguing and often I have wondered how the parents in such families may differ in their parenting styles based on the relationship of the Mother and Father. In the traditional family, the Mother and Father are generally married and reside in the same household raising the children they have created together, while other families of divorced parents may have joint custody of their children and live in separate residences. I am curious to know how these parents operate, specifically in the area of discipline. Child Behavior tends to be greatly effected by a change in the family structure, such as divorce. Not only do children behave poorly in school after a divorce, but also there are studies that show High School drop out rates are significantly higher in a single parent household than a home with dual parenting.

This study will serve three purposes. The first is to describe the disciplinary practices of a divorced parents, studying the most common techniques used by the average divorced parent. Next, this study will explain the effectiveness of these techniques, examining the result of child behavior in each of the examples. Finally, this study will outline the most effective discipline techniques for divorced parents to avoid the behavioral problems that a divorce can bring upon a child. The most effective disciplinary techniques for divorced parents is to work together throughout the disciplinary practices, remaining consistent amongst both parents and delivering on punishments for incorrect behaviors. This ensures well-behaved children and increases the likelihood of educational success of their children.

Problem Statement
Children of divorced parents suffer with behavioral issues much more often than children from traditional family dynamics consisting of a two-parent households. Theses issues include small consequences such as bad behavior in the classroom and can be even more sever such as increased likelihood of high school dropouts. In fact, in a study reviewed by Green, K., of a group of students who came from a divorced family, only “about 60 percent received high
school diplomas” (Green, 2009). This is compared to 78.4% of students from a traditional household of two parents.

Changes in parenting should be able to reduce these risks and there is no better way to change parenting styles other than researching the different styles of parenting and examining the most effective techniques. Divorced parents often lack a partnership and consistency that a dual parent household has, and so, in order to prevent negative consequences from poor child behavior, divorced parents need to work together, remain consistent, and hold their children accountable for their actions. The question this study hopes to answer is, how are divorced parents’ disciplinary actions different from traditional families, and what can they do to ensure their child’s success? Rationale

Child behavior is so important since it is often said that past behavior is a good indicator of future behavior. “The empirical finding that childhood problem behavior is predictive of adult problem behavior has been documented in several longitudinal samples, regardless of time, place, sample characteristics, or specific measures of outcome” (Ensminger, 2006, p194). Children tend to behave more poorly when they are raised in a home of a divorced parent, so it is important to understand the approaches taken by these parents and assess their effectiveness in order to explain the best disciplinary techniques so that this behavior can be corrected early enough to eliminate the risks of behavioral issues in children. This study is meant to be more than just a description of parenting styles, but, also serve as a guide for divorced parents as well. Research Objectives

This study will serve three purposes. The first will be to identify the most common disciplinary approaches amongst divorced parents and traditional families. Amongst these approaches, we will then determine the most effective of these approaches, which is the second objective. Finally, We will fulfill the third purpose, which is to understand the complications that divorce brings upon a parent in disciplining, and suggest helpful tips from the most effective parenting styles researched. When all is said and done, we would like to help single parents who are raising their children after a divorce understand the importance of good discipline practices, most commonly found in traditional families and avoiding any potential negative impacts of child behavior. Hypothesis

My guess is that most divorced parents do not take the time to research the most effective parenting techniques, especially in the area of discipline. This can help them assess their current strategies and open their eyes to all new approaches with the most successful outcomes. I would guesstimate that most single parents lack discipline due to the fear of loosing the popularity contest they’re in with the ex-spouse and their children.

This is unfortunate because they are actually doing more harm than good. A child that does not have discipline in the home can result in terrible consequences, both for the child as well for the society in which this child will live in, since links to criminality have already been established with child behavior and lack of discipline. I would predict that if divorced parents were to use effective discipline, such as, working together, remaining consistent and keeping their children accountable for their actions, then they would raise better-behaved children and increase the chance of a successful life for their children, much like their traditional family counterpart. Definition of Terms

This paper will have several terms that will have several terms that will be defined in this portion and will be implemented throughout the study. The first term I wish to define is the term “traditional family”. A traditional family will be defined by a household in which the children live with both their mother and father and both are married. The next term defined is a divorced family, or a family in which the children’s parents have divorced and no longer live together. The term “children” will describe adolescents under 18 years of age. Another term is discipline, which we will define as any action taken by a parent to correct the bad behavior of their children. Finally, we will define Behavior as the actions and/or attitudes displayed
by a child. Summary

It is imperative that children be disciplined for displaying poor behavior. This can prevent such outcomes as high school dropouts and criminal activities, which is often the result of bad childhood behavior. Divorced families often lack discipline in the household, due to the absence of partnership amongst divorced parents and consistency in parenting, so, in order to prevent negative consequences of child behavior issues, divorced parents need to work together, remain consistent, and hold their children accountable for their actions. I predict that traditional families have a lot of differences in their disciplinary practices such as teamwork, consistency and accountability that is deficient in a divorced family, where the parents are separated in different residences. Much can be gained about researching effective disciplinary techniques, especially amongst divorced parents, well-disciplined children can increase the livelihood of their adult life and ensure a more promising future, which is everything a parent hopes for their children.

References
Ensminger, M. E. (2006). Childhood Behavior and Adult Criminality: Cluster Analysis in a Prospective Study of African Americans. DOI 10.1007/s10940-006-9008-9 Green, K. (2009). Your Child Your Divorce. School Drop-Out Rates Rise for Children of Divorce, Claims Study. Retrieved from: http://yourchildyourdivorce.com/wordpress/school-drop-out-rates-rise-for-children-of-divorce-claims-study/ In Research from University of Alberta (as cited in Green, K. (2009). Your Child Your Divorce. School Drop-Out Rates Rise for Children of Divorce, Claims Study. Retrieved from: http://yourchildyourdivorce.com/wordpress/school-drop-out-rates-rise-for-children-of-divorce-claims-study/)


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