You Need to Take Care of This
Parenting isn’t always easy, especially when deciding which parent is going to dole out the discipline. Arguments often ensue due to one parent insisting that the other be “the bad guy.” It’s an uncomfortable situation for everyone involved.
The good news is that there is something that you can do, as the disciplinarian, to better communicate with the unwilling parent. Keep reading for more information.
When being asked to lay down the law, be insistent in your explanation that you feel the task needs to be a shared responsibility. Show that you prefer to talk to your children as part of a team. This will help prevent the possibility that your child will automatically take sides and prefer to deal with the more lenient parent whenever times get tough.
Giving in to the other person’s demands to make the problem go away isn’t an answer. Think of it as putting the bandage on a cut that needs stitches. It’s always much better to come to some agreement regarding sharing disciplinary responsibilities rather than just giving up.
When your spouse, ex, or significant other demands that you talk to your child to rectify any issue, do everything you can not to argue about it – especially when the child is in earshot. Even if you have to step away for a moment to gather your thoughts, it’s much better than getting into a heated discussion.
Along the same lines, never tell your children that the other parent is making you discipline them. It should be obvious that bad-mouthing mom or dad will only create more animosity and lessen the chance of everyone getting along in the future.
In cases like this, silent parents are often silent because they lack confidence in their parenting skills, especially when there is tension in the household. Try to reassure your child’s other parents that they are an important part of the disciplinary process and that you truly value their input in the matter.
Unfortunately, there can be mental consequences to frequent “good cop, bad cop” discipline sessions. Children learn about relationships by watching their parents. So, as adults, these same children will be more apt to get into an identical routine with their kids.
In addition, on an even deeper level, children whose parents have a hard time with discipline sometimes suffer from lower self-esteem. Typically, when a child feels as though a parent has a problem accomplishing something, he (or she) perceives the same of himself.
Remember, the “good cop, bad cop” approach is meant for criminals, not children. Pitting one parent against the other solves nothing. It only creates more tension and possibly even alienation.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having different parenting styles. Varying perspectives are quite beneficial to many parenting-related issues. Problems occur when one parent is so set in their ways that it is difficult for them to try something different.
You Need to Take Care of This
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