somnambulists under the full moon try to hold balance

In some families, Dad’s the disciplinarian.  In others, Mom carries the big stick.  Is there a right or wrong way?  What about working, single, or divorced parents?  Get in on the conversation here about balancing parenting roles.

When I was growing up, my mom did most of the day-in day-out discipline.  She made observations, did reconnaissance to get the dirt on what was going on, and usually dealt with it right then and there.  When needed, my dad was the big hammer.  We always knew that he would eventually find out if we gave mom fits or really blew it with our grades.

Different Discipline Situations For Flexible Families

But what about a home where the dad stays home part-time or has his own business and is around the kids more?  How about if mom has the full-time job and doesn’t find out what’s going on until late in the day?  This situation is probably much more common than it used to be.  Families are often a lot more flexible with who earns what at which job.  Parents look for creative solutions for parental supervision.  So the way today’s job situation has evolved, you may not do discipline quite like your parents did.

Some families also have somewhat of a switch as kids get older.  Maybe dad wasn’t especially hands-on when the kids were babies, but he does well having conversations when they are teens.  Maybe Mom worked away from home when the kids were babies and Dad did most of the early discipline. Now she has her own business and can be home after school while dad works evenings.  It all depends on what works for your family, and there isn’t a right or wrong way.

How Do You Balance Parenting Roles At Home?

I’m curious, readers (as I always am). What have you done to share the load of discipline in your family?  Single or divorced parents, how have you managed your situation?

Creative Commons License photo credit: oedipusphinx


    Last reviewed: 1 Apr 2010

APA Reference
Krull, E. (2010). Balancing Parenting Roles. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 30, 2015, from



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