As a parent, you already know that all children require equal measures of boundaries and rules, expectations and consequences. From infancy, your child depends upon you to make choices and decisions that are in his best interest, won't endanger him, and are going to promote his safety, health, and well-being. This becomes more and more challenging as children grow, test limits, and become more independent. When a child is bipolar, your parental standards can get tossed out the window if your child has the potential to overwhelm and overpower you and others around him. The keys to disciplining most children—but in particular a child with bipolar disorder—are prevention (not intervention) and consistency.
Some parents raise their children by winging it, applying discipline in a rather haphazard way and flying by the seat of their pants, so to speak, addressing issues as circumstances arise. While you do need to be in control by exerting parental authority, this approach can be interpreted by your child as an unfair, unbalanced, and confusing anarchy. This “catch as catch can” method of discipline and making up the rules as you go along can lead to greater rebellion as your child grows and defies those rules. This can become exacerbated by your child's bipolar experience. Disciplining in the heat of the moment is rarely effective long term—that's intervention. Apprising your child well in advance of expectations and consequences is prevention.