Being the bad cop sucks.
They say opposites attract. Mom and Buried and I aren’t total opposites, but we do have some significant differences. And we definitely parent differently.
On good days, those differences complement each other. On bad days, they cause conflict. When you have a kid who is acting up, and acting out, the bad days become more frequent.
Especially when you don’t always see eye to eye on how to discipline that kid.
Disciplining your kids is hard.
It requires nuance. You can’t yell all the time, because it loses its effectiveness after a while. You can’t spank ever because you were spanked by your parents when it was acceptable and are now you are totally insane and probably in jail. You need to develop tricks. Time-outs, good cop/bad cop, the Parent Voice, etc.
Most of the time, getting your kids to behave boils down to two strategies: threats and bribes.
I have a 7-year-old and an almost 2-year-old. Which means my oldest is mostly past tantrums (one would hope!), and my youngest is just about to make them his primary means of communication. Can’t wait!
Tantrums are tough. You can’t really blame the kid, especially not the young ones who are still learning how to express themselves while also grappling with those pesky emotions. But that doesn’t mean you can’t try to figure out how to better handle them, to calm your kid down and keep yourself from losing your shit and/or mind.
Unfortunately, many of the proposed tactics aren’t always possible in the heat of the moment.
My wife and I have an ongoing disagreement. (Well, we have several, one of which is about whether Moulin Rouge is a good movie (it is not), but this one is about parenting.)
She thinks I yell too much. And I know I said this was a disagreement, but I don’t deny that she’s right. I do yell too much, especially lately.
Instead of losing my temper, I need to actually lose my temper.