Parents need to discuss and make decisions together on a daily basis. When a family does tag-team parenting there is little time for these discussions and decisions. Spouses need to sit down and discuss certain situations and what they will do about them before they happen.
Discipline: Discipline needs to be consistent when tag-team parenting. Discuss what situations warrant what kind of punishment.
Consistency is the key when it comes to discipline. I am not saying that you have to be super strict, but the parents need to be consistent. If talking back warrants grounding from the television from one parent and just a stern look from the other parent, the kids soon discover what they can get away with depending on who is at home.
Do not undermine the discipline of the other parent. I know that with tag-team parenting there is not always enough time to discuss the how’s and why’s of every situation. One parent may think that the punishment is too harsh and rescind the punishment sending the wrong message to the kids.
Another potential discipline problem may be that the parent who implements the punishment forgets to tell the parent that needs to enforce it. I do not know of too many kids who will offer up that information. When the parents tag-team child care, there is not much a parent can do for this type of problem except to try to remember to communicate problems.
Chores: This is another problem that tag-team parenting families face. If you read my previous articles, you already know that parents need to divide up household chores. Children’s chores are another potential problem that needs to be discussed.
Tag-team parents need to discuss what chores are expected from the children. This way one parent is not insisting that the child’s room be cleaned by the child while the other parent does the cleaning. This only confuses the kids because then they do not always know what is expected of them.
We have a chore chart that distinguishes between what chores are expected of them and what chores can earn them extra money. The kids get stickers when they perform certain chores. They are expected to keep their toys picked up and to help carry in the groceries. Extra chores earn them a quarter per task. These include folding laundry, vacuuming, and putting away items that are not theirs.
This chart helps tag-team parents keep track of what has been done by each child. I will add that the kids do not get paid for the extra chores unless they pick up their toys and help to carry in the groceries.
Spirituality: This can be read as “going to church”. Parents normally already agree on morality and religion by this point in their lives. When you are a tag-team parent, sometimes church services fall on just one parent.
This needs to be discussed because one parent might expect the other to take the kids to church when he is at work. That parent may not feel as strongly about going to church.
If you and your spouse do not agree about religion, then one of you has to make concessions. How it works for your family is up to you, but it needs to be discussed either way.
Consistency in parenting is important for the stability of the family no matter which parent is in charge at the time. This is just an overview of the discussions that should happen before the family decides on tag-team parenting. There are many other decisions that need to be made by tag-team parents that I have not covered.