It Helps To Play Good Cop/Bad Cop With Your Kids

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father with kids
How we've found a balance between drastically different disciplinary styles.

While I'm not one to let minor offenses slide, he relies solely on the power of gentle corrections, and saves his firm hand for more serious situations. And honestly? Sometimes it sucks being the heavy. Every once in awhile, I'd like to be the one letting the kids off the hook while he enforces the discipline. It just never works out like that. And this makes me furious.

So as I stood in front of my eye-rolling pre-tween, staring over her head at my pacifist husband, I felt my blood pressure soar.

And then I looked back at my daughter, who was waiting for the conclusion of my lecture, any trace of her previously bold attitude as much of a distant memory as Lindsay's career. And in the midst of my completely logical lecture, I grudgingly realized that maybe my husband was right. While eye-rolling isn't something I plan on accepting from my kids, my lecture may have been a little excessive. So I wrapped it up: I gave my daughter the bottom line—that that kind of disrespect wouldn't be tolerated by either parent in our house—and left her to finish clearing the table solo. When It Comes To Parenting, Does One Size Fit All?

While she tearfully scraped plates into the trashcan and loaded the dishwasher, I headed into the living room to have a talk with my husband. Ultimately, we agreed that calling our kids out when they showed sass was important. We settled on a standing consequence for eye-rolling, and discussed my tendency to be a bit long-winded when I'm lecturing. We also discussed his tendency to be a total pushover. We agreed to disagree on who's approach was better, and promised to meet somewhere in the middle. Good Cop, Bad Cop: How To Merge Parenting Styles

While our differing approaches to discipline have caused a few arguments, I have to admit that our differences actually make us a better team. We tend to balance each other out and reach a middle ground that makes us pretty effective as parents. And I guess that's the beauty of raising children with a partner whose parenting style doesn't match yours exactly, even if their general philosophy does. Because at the end of the day, all we're trying to do is raise non-delinquent members of society while still keeping our marriage intact. With as few eye rolls as possible, preferably.