“But daddy always let’s me watch TV after dinner,” shouts Jamie. “Well daddy is not here right now and I say, it’s bed time,” his frustrated mother shouts back. Your responsibility as a parent is like a mountain: the higher the mountain to climb, the stronger you must become and your strength must come from wisdom and inspiration.
In order to achieve the best results, all things must be discussed as partners. Without mutual understanding of how to deal with a situation or what the routine of a child is, you will be faced with defiance and resentment should your rules clash with the other parents’.
Some parents do not mind being labeled the ‘bad cop’ when it comes to disciplining their kids. Even so, I feel it is in your best interests to lay ground rules that both parties approve of and therefore no need for the bad cop.
If daddy says Taylor can have some ice cream after dinner, mummy should be able to either go along with that or let Taylor know why it is not okay to have ice cream after dinner without him asking why daddy says it’s okay. It is imperative for kids to know that both parents agree on the decisions made.
If they don’t see that mutual understanding, they always have the option of asking the not-so-tough parent aka good cop when they want to have their way. This makes another parent feel inadequate and undermined and that could lead to a preventable fight.
“My husband insists on protesting every time I tell our 5 year old daughter that she can’t do something. It’s not like I just don’t want her to have her way but when her way collides with routines like an afternoon nap, I tell her that she can do whatever she wants after the nap. But then my husband butts in and I don’t think he understands just how much that infuriates me because now she has become defiant and doesn’t listen to me,” says a troubled Carol Mutestsi, a self employed business lady in Nyamirambo.
Like Carol, many individuals find themselves at their kids’ rejection end. Olga Tumwebaze, a mother of one who just moved to Kigali 2 years ago says her daughter doesn’t even pay attention to what she says. “Somehow she comes to ask me first when she wants something but the second I say no, she doesn’t hesitate to go to her daddy, who will simply say she can have what she wants. I don’t even know why she bothers coming to me in the first place. Maybe to let me know that daddy has the final say.”
According to www.psychologytoday.com despite your best intentions as a parent, children become stubborn and defensive especially if they feel they have one parent on their side. It seems almost spontaneous for many parents, when faced with a child’s defiance or lack of cooperation, to attempt to solve this problem by imposing a “consequence” for the child’s misbehavior.
But what really needs to be done is to sit down and come to an understanding which will help both of you function better and balance the authority – the best being if daddy/mummy said no, then the answer is no!