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Why “Good Cop, Bad Cop” Parenting Doesn’t Work

Parents Being Good And BadA lot of parents establish a “good cop, bad cop” relationship when it comes to disciplining their children. The mother may act as the strict rule-enforcer while the father acts as the laid-back advocate for the child. This seems like a sound setup in theory, but it can actually lead to a number of problems in the future. If you have considered a setup like this for your family, you may want to think about that a second time. Here is some information explaining why good cop/bad cop parenting doesn’t work.

You Force Your Children To Pick A Favorite

Your children shouldn’t have a favorite parent, much like you shouldn’t have a favorite child. In a good cop/bad cop scenario, the good cop is always going to be the favorite. That’s the parent that lets the children stay up late at night and eat junk food when they’re not supposed to. Who wouldn’t love someone like that? By forcing your children to choose sides, you are automatically putting a strain on the relationship.

You Lack Consistency With Your Disciplines

Children need consistency. That is the only way they learn. If you do not discipline your children the same way, you are going to send mixed signals to the child. For instance, if mom says “no” five times about a piece of candy that dad automatically says “yes” to, the child will think it is okay to eat the candy, as long as dad is involved. You have to work as a team to instill the values and behaviors you want your child to have.

You Limit The Bonds You Can Have With Your Children

Your kids will love you no matter what, but they are more likely to bond with good cop than they are bad cop. This will cause problems on both ends. The child will feel like he or she is missing out on a good relationship with mom or dad, and you will feel like your child doesn’t love you the way you want him or her to. Rather than creating a separation in the family, you should work together as parents to bond with your children simultaneously. That way the connections are established across the board.

Before you go into a good cop bad cop parenting method, try to come up with a mutual set of rules that you can enforce as parents. The more consistent you are, the better off your kids will be.

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