Your Hardest Household Question: How can we get out of “good cop/bad cop” with our children?


I really feel like my husband and I are enjoying “good cop” and “bad cop” with our youngsters. He got here from a household the place youngsters have been anticipated to obey it doesn’t matter what and I got here from a household that was kinder and extra respectful of particular person wants. Our children just about come to me for all the pieces as a result of their dad will at all times say “no.” He looks like I give in to them and he’s solely concerned once I want him to self-discipline a child. He needs I’d be stricter with the children, and I want he can be extra honest and sort to them. Can you share any concepts on the best way to get out of this example?


I agree you each must get on the identical web page along with your parenting strategy so your children aren’t caught within the center. Even although most mother and father strategy parenting in another way, the most important concern is that sticking to your particular person kinds can push you and your husband additional away from one another. Divisions like this could pressure your youngsters’s relationships with every of you and creates insecurity within the basis of the household.

Both of your parenting kinds deliver essential parts of a wholesome parenting strategy. Dr. Haim Ginnott, writer of the ebook “Between Parent and Child”, inspired mother and father to be “strict with behavior but permissive with emotions.” In the Book of Mormon, Enos advised us that his father “was a just man—for he taught me in his language, and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord—and blessed be the name of my God for it.”[i] When we expertise a steadiness of “nurture and admonition” from our mother and father, we’re benefitting from the items of compassion and steering.

Justice and mercy are important for our correct improvement, however the wholesome software of those in our parenting journey requires cooperation and inspiration. In normal, it’s not useful to raise one over the opposite when making an attempt to develop a unified parenting technique for your loved ones.

Of course, if one parenting model is abusive, demeaning, shaming, or neglectful, then it’s essential to face agency shield your youngsters. Be cautious, although, as you could be so comfy with your individual parenting model that your associate’s model could really feel threatening to you, even when it’s not abusive or dangerous. This is the place searching for schooling collectively will help you’re employed collectively to develop a parenting strategy that you simply each be ok with.

Pick a time to sit down down along with your husband and discuss how essential it’s so that you can be on the identical web page with him. Each of you wants an opportunity to speak about why you do what you do along with your youngsters. Listen fastidiously for the strengths within the strategy and the way it will help your youngsters.

My guess is that your husband has some nice concepts that may affect the way in which you guardian your youngsters. He most likely notices belongings you don’t discover. The identical goes for you as properly. You discover issues he doesn’t discover, which might inform his parenting model. The purpose isn’t to show the opposite individual into a duplicate of you. The purpose is to mix your kinds right into a unified method of interacting along with your youngsters.

If your youngsters know that you simply respect one another’s strengths, they’ll reply higher to every of you. If they sense your frustration with one another’s model, they’ll cut up and select sides, which isn’t good for anybody.

Of course, if you happen to and your husband can’t even start this dialog with one another, search out a professional marriage counselor who will help you’re employed by this dialog so that you may be on the identical web page with one another. Sometimes the stakes really feel so excessive and the problems so private in relation to parenting and household life that it may be troublesome to navigate the dialog.

Let him know you need him concerned and also you worth the strengths he brings to the household, even when his execution is tough and wishes some work. Reassure him that you simply don’t wish to undermine him if you get overwhelmed together with his method of parenting. Ask him if he’s keen to work as a group to seek out the fitting steadiness of “nurture and admonition.” As you each grow to be much less polarized, everybody will profit and also you’ll each enhance your relationships along with your youngsters.

Geoff will reply a brand new household and relationship query each Friday. You can electronic mail your query to him at [email protected]  

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About the Author

Geoff Steurer is a licensed marriage and household therapist in non-public observe in St. George, Utah. He is the co-author of “Love You, Hate the Porn: Healing a Relationship Damaged by Virtual Infidelity”, host of the podcast, “From Crisis to Connection”, and creates on-line relationship programs. He earned levels from Brigham Young University and Auburn University. He is married to Jody Young Steurer and they’re the mother and father of 4 youngsters.

[i] Enos 1:1

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