I came back home from work the other day; exhausted was an understatement and all I could hear was my daughter singing Frozen at the top of her lungs, and I was about to say something really, until I heard my wife shouting at the top of her lungs, “Stop this or your father will get upset with you!” I mean sure it was bothering me, but wasn’t it bothering her as well? So, I called my wife in and I asked her, “why are you putting this on me?”
Growing up, I’m sure we all knew who the disciplinarian in the family was; for some it was the mother who would get upset and lecture, while others became too familiar with the phrase “just wait until your father comes home”. It’s a sad fact that some fathers spend all day at work, eager to get home and spend time with their kids only to find out they need to lay down the law or send someone to bed early.
Does it have to be one disciplined parent? Can we as parents not blame the other so that the child understands that what they are doing is wrong regardless of which parent is in that particular situation? I sat my wife down and I told her it’s not fair to me. My wife told me it was a natural reaction because she sometimes feels that the kids value my feelings more.
But if our kids can learn to respect both our opinions and behave themselves no matter which parent was with them, I think we’ve done our job right, and so my wife told me that the children get the best of her after spending most of the day with them, and is looking for a way out (though she agrees its wrong) to quiet them down.
We don’t have to decide who takes on the role of the disciplinary for life, we’re trying to assess each situation individually. If I have a problem with my child singing Frozen at the top of her lungs, I should have a comfortable enough relationship with them to ask them to stop, not wait until my wife shows up. And vice versa, if I’m not home and the kids are causing complete mayhem, my wife should be able to tell them to calm down without resorting to “I’ll let dad deal with this because I’m just not in the mood.”
What are your thoughts on this? Do you believe one of us needs to be the bad cop for effective parenting? Who takes on the disciplinarian role in your household if it is there? Are you happy with this arrangement?