Many times I feel like I have to play "bad cop" whilst my husband gets to play "good cop". I do the disciplining, the setting of the rules, the sticking to said rules, but when daddy's around, he gets to play good cop while he bends the rules.
Case in point: I do not see any reason for giving my child candy during the day unless it is in some way earned (going poo in the potty) or if it is dessert time, and he has been a good eater at mealtime. That does not mean, however, that Leighton does not test me all day by asking repeatedly for "treats" and "chocolate eggs", but I do not give in. This morning, Mark was eating tootsie rolls in front of Leighton, and of course Mr. I-Don't-Miss-Anything saw daddy (who should have been a little sneakier) and started requesting (I mean screaming for) chocolate eggs. I said that he couldn't have one, and Mark gave in and gave him a treat. Seriously?
Mark gives in way more than I do (which is never). I don't know if it's that he can't stomach the crying or can't stand the whining, or if he just wants to be the good cop (the hero), but when he gives in and breaks the rules, I instantly get furious (flames shooting out of my ears and everything!). Sometimes when I'm trying to be serious and enforce the rules while the child is crying or saying "no", Mark will actually start laughing... not helpful either.
How can a mother possibly maintain consistency and order when the father is undermining her all the way? Kids know who they can manipulate and who they can't, and giving in to their childish requests only leads to more whining and crying to get their way, making everyone more miserable and the child confused about what the rules really are.
I know I'm not the only one in this boat of being the bad cop as I have witnessed this phenomenon happening in other families... usually when the mother is not in the immediate area and the father is.
Why does this circumstance reoccur time and time again? Do mom's need to relax the rules more, or do fathers need to be more strict? Regardless, I'm just sayin'... why can't we all just be bad cops? If we were all bad cops, wouldn't none of us be bad cops? (does your head hurt yet?) We'd all just be cops... on the same team.
Original Badge Image Credit: Rachel's Blog (http://rachellamarrealestate.com/2010/05/)
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