HELLO? Dad, the bad cop of the family
Children are rebelling against their parents and their rules, that's normal. But if it comes down to it, then someone must, if necessary, consistently pay attention to compliance with the rules. With us in the family dad is the "bad cop" who enters the stage when the kids push it too far. No job he was torn to, but someone has to do it.
You know it from film and television: If a suspect is taken in the pincer, then there is usually a nice and a less nice policeman who initially keeps mostly in the background. This "bad cop" embodies the consequence if the suspect should get the idea not to cooperate with the investigation. When I'm in the family, I know that bad cop. When I get into the game, the kids know that the kidding is over and the fun ends.
If our children have to cope early, if they are bitchy, tired or just whining or it's high time to go to bed, then daddy's hour beats in doubt. Our big daughter knows that things will be done and our little one has learned that there is no escape from Daddy's arms when it's time to sleep - it's sung, carried and rocked for so long until the eyes close.
Do I play the role of the "bad cops", who has to intervene in case of crisis? Did I tease myself about being the one who, if necessary, has to impose unpopular measures? No, it just turned out that way.
How DADDY became a man for the hard cases
The first real education that we pervaded as parents was the departure of our big daughter from the parents' bedroom at about 14 months, with nocturnal breastfeeding at the same time. It was clear that my wife could not console our child with this move, because it would have been really contradictory for a child to be held in a hug to refuse her breast. So, on the advice of the pediatrician, the choice fell on daddy to calm the child during the transitional period at night. That worked far better than expected. With the big goal in mind, I was not tempted to abandon our plan and bring the child back to the parents' bed.
Also later it became clear that I was more consistent in the implementation of our plans than my wife: I am stronger (and can therefore carry the children around longer), have more patience and stronger nerves - especially in protest I give way less often.
At first I was worried that my children would still love me when I was the one in charge of the unpleasant things of the day. Luckily, it quickly became clear that at the latest the next morning, every anger on the dad is forgotten. That calmed me down a lot. It seems that our children either suffer from a kind of "child dementia" or simply are not resentful. Yes, it even seems to me that my greatness respects me for what I do. She rarely appears demanding to me and instead politely asks if she wants something. I listen to her attentively and like to fulfill her wish when appropriate. As a result, she usually enjoys her sense of achievement a bit more than usual and we are all satisfied.
Despite all the consequences, the "how" is especially important to me
I'm tough on it, but loving the way I do things. Carrot and consequence so to speak. For example, it is not discussed with me about whether it goes to the kindergarten. Staying at home is not an option. But if my child asks if it's allowed to take something or if we do something specific after the kindergarten, then I'll talk to me.
At the same time, the child may have the feeling that he has "won". I do not care. If I promise to get on well in the evening and go to bed, if I tell him a story, then I'm happy. Anyway, the goal should be the center of attention despite all the consequences.
A tip: give your child only two choices - "Do you want X or Y"? Otherwise, small children are very quickly overwhelmed. "Would you like to wear a pair of pants or a dress? This or that dress? "So you quickly come to a result.
If the child does not want something, they show him a way out. "Do you prefer XY"? Personally, I make sure that the way out is always "easy" for me - another book to read aloud (which may be shorter), another game or a different meal (which is quick to prepare).
If the food is on the table and the child does not want to eat anything, then I give him a way out - but one who does not do me a job. A yogurt, nuts, the warmed-up remains of yesterday.
At first , I do not want to do extra work and do not reward the child for his insubordination. On the other hand, the child should not go to bed without food - and then wake us parents hungry at night.
When things do not go with you, so-called "red lines" you should stay consistent in any case. But maybe you offer your child a deal here as well. For example, there are no movies before bed and no mobile or tablet in bed. Instead, we offer our children a radio play that they can hear in bed. Likewise, there are no sweets in the late evening. However, I like to put something for the next day in the "treasure chest" of the child, if it is good to go to bed.
I try to never be loud, but to give a clear message.
With all this, it's important to me that I always show my child that I love it. I talk to my child at eye level. If my child is tired and wants to be hugged, then I do too. When my child is in such a mood, I lovingly carry it to the bathroom to finish it for the night and, of course, cuddle something with it.
If my child is not accessible at all, or even becomes aggressive, then as a last resort we have the "1-2-3 method". Before, I try everything else - a deal, a contest, a request for a favor, everything. If I count to three, then my older daughter knows that the fun is finally over. If necessary, I clamp them under my arm and bring them against their will in the bathroom - and then without a story to bed.
Last but not least, what we do not have is the threat: "Wait until the dad ..." This announcement is also completely wrong.
A dirty job, but somebody just has to do it
Like I said, I was not tempted to be the "bad cop". But how do you say? "It's a dirty job, but somebody just has to do it." The role also has its advantages: the children obey, if they should, and we usually do the things that we make ourselves - so we come out in the morning in the morning and without shouting out of the house in the direction of kindergarten.
Compliance with certain rules is just important - especially for the children who need their night sleep, for example, but also for us parents. For this one needs now and then a consistent "bad cop", which pays attention to their compliance. A pity, but that's just the way it is.
How are you all doing? Who is responsible for compliance with family rules?