Figuring out the right way to discipline your kids is difficult. They go from being your sweet, cuddly infant who needs all of your love and attention to forming their own strong opinions and pushing boundaries at every turn and it happens over night. With all the love in your heart for your little one, it is hard to be stern, put them in their place when they need it and establish the boundaries they are so desperately seeking.
I definitely play the role of the good cop most times. I have more patience when my toddler starts to melt down and I tend to let her flip out, scream, cry and stomp around the house until she calms down, at which point I sit her down for a conversation about why the answer was “no” and why her behavior is unacceptable. She listens and understands and we are able to move forward.
Most times, when I’m in a good mood, well-rested and there is still time on the clock before bedtime, this discipline plan works. It’s the nights when I’m exhausted and we have already read an extra book, had another glass of water and are 10 minutes past bedtime that my patience runs short and I have a meltdown, too.
In these trying situations, I yell at her in an attempt to lay down the hammer and get her to bed but it only backfires as the tears and screaming go through the roof and we’re both upset. That’s when my husband steps in as the real disciplinarian. He’s 100% no bullshit and my daughter at that point, turns back to me for comfort and peace which I often am lured into providing. I can’t stand to see her upset and if coming to me is what will make the meltdown stop, I’ll manage it.
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However, while I’m trying to help, my husband feels undermined and that’s when all hell breaks loose. He snaps at me for inserting myself back into the situation, my daughter is catching her breath now that she’s back in my arms and I feel like while I’ve helped to alleviate the situation, my husband is now frustrated with me for intervening. This cycle has happened many times now through toddler-hood and we are working to try to find a way to fix it.
I know what I have to do to be better and that means the following:
- Respect my partner by letting him handle the situation through completion
- Keep the fighting to a minimum in front of the kids
- Take the time to learn how to be better
Read about other people’s stories and take some time to reflect on what you can do to be a better disciplinarian for your children.
How do you find alignment with your partner on discipline? Share your stories in the comments below.