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Thursday, March 02, 2006



Good Guy Bad Guy

I've learned from many couple friends and relatives that when they try to discipline their child, they often end up with one of them playing the "good guy" and the other one will be the "bad guy" ie one spouse will be the disciplinarian.... the one who scolds etc and the other one is the one with the softer touch ie the one who comforts and says "its ok". The one with the so called softer touch need not necessarily be the mommy in this case.

Well, hubby and I try not to fall into this trap. So far I've noticed that none of us is clearly the good guy/bad guy. We play both equally ie we scold and love them equally and the one who does the scolding will do the comforting as well when everything has cooled down. Its hard, but we made a pact not to interfere when the other is doing the scolding. This is really not that easy though because when you're not the one doing the scolding sometimes you may feel your partner is being too harsh and you want to rush in to protect the child. This happens to both of us equally, I think. We try not to let it happen too often because then the child will get confused with the mixed signals.

I think the worse thing that can happen is when your spouse is scolding the child, you rush to comfort the child and scold your spouse in front of the child, then you and your partner end up arguing in front of the child. This has happened to us before but hmmm..... we really have to stick to our pact of non-interference.

What about you? Who's the good guy/bad guy in your relationship?

13 comments:

  1. we practise the same too. we don't interfere when either one of us is disciplining the girls. after scolding and letting them know why we punish them, we will sayang them back...give them a hug and assure them that we still love them. so, no good/buy guy here :D

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  2. hehe... is like the good cop bad cop strategy ah!

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  3. I also agree not to use the "Good guy, Bad guy" tactics, sends the wrong message to the kids. When one is scolding, the spouse must support, so that the kid will know its really wrong for what he did.

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  4. cannot... later they climb on the good guy head, and never want to talk to the bad guy, how?

    both me and hubby play two faces, very difficult to balance our self, but still trying, learning and trying :).

    and yah, never interfere each other's lecture, even MIL and gu-ma interfere, we will tell them off.

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  5. I also ask hubby to make sure we don't fall in that trap. Unfortunately, I can't keep quite when something is wrong and tend to voice out first, while daddy just sits there.

    So, he's the good guy.

    When hubby is doing the scolding, I don't interfere. But, when I scold them too much (he thinks so), he buts in. Hmmpphh! I get very angry with that.

    Don't know much effect its taking off now.. But I hope later he will be more strict.

    But after I scold, I make sure I make it up to them. After that I try to make them understand why I scold them.

    Nowadays, when hubby thinks boys are not doing right thing, he will ask me to see them.. (expecting me to say something). All I say is, "If you think its not right, u tell them. Why always me?"

    Why he refers them bac to me? He knows they will listen to me.

    I have a trick too.. When I'm in public, I don't have to scold them, but they will know they cannot do something.. Hubby can't do that. Hehehee ;)

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  6. miche,
    We try to sayang them back after the scolding as well but I think sometimes we beh tahan and sayang back too quickly! Hahaha.

    egghead,
    Oh Yah hor, something like dat.

    ricket,
    Yes, I think its important for the parents to be seen as "on the same side" in front of the kids and to discuss and differences privately but thats easier said than done of course. ;)

    maria,
    Hmm... thats true, one will get the cold shoulder and the other one gets trodden on the head. Hehehe.

    geetha,
    Hubby is more stern with them and he sets more rules that he makes them stick to but since I'm with them all day, I end up scolding them a lot too.

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  7. We practice the same too. But I'm the one who uses force, and hubby only use verbal (I smack Zara occassionally when she's very naughty).

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  8. i am the bad one; her kongkong is the good one

    i am darth vader ....sigh

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  9. We no good or bad guy here but my IL is :( When they saw us scold them too much she will voice out.

    So sometime my son know when my MIL at home he play naughty but when she not at home he dun dare to test our temper. Too bad my MIL always at home, I cant ask them go away dun come and dictub me teach my son right?

    We argue with my MIL b4 because of my son but she will said our type is wrong eg. I told him dun play the things he cant play, he sure will go find my MIL to give him. She said just see him play later take back from him. How i'm gonna teach my son??

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  10. zara's mama,
    We both use "force" ie smack with hands but so far no rotan yet. hehehe.

    darth vader,
    Kongkong sure will play good guy wan lah.

    1+2mom,
    Hmm... it must be hard but just remember that your kids are very lucky indeed to have so many ppl to love them. Mine only has one grandparent ie my dad, and will never know the joy of having grandparents to sayang them.

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  11. We both try to avoid the good/bad guy thingy. I prefer one person scold, the same person comfort and spouse step aside.

    In my case as I spend more time with bb, I am the bad guy. haha!

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  12. Oh definitely one parent cannot berate the other in front of the children. One parent will scold, and the other will comfort but always agree that the scolding was necessary. I always feel DH is too harsh whenever he scolds them (he seldom does it, but when he does, the children know they are in deep trouble), but never voice it out in front of them. They are very clever to run to the other parent for comfort.

    As for grandparents, the children instinctively know they can get away with murder!! *grins* Even when grandparents chide them, they don't take it seriously. I am lucky both grandparents never interfere when we are disciplining the children. I always tell my parents & in-laws, their disciplining days are over, they just play with the children and send them back when they are naughty!!

    I wish I could have played with my grandparents. It was so touching to see my daughter playing with my father today, he was so amused by her antics. My father, the strictest disciplinarian there ever was with his 3 daughters!! And now, being wrapped around the little fingers of a 7 year old girl and 2 year old toddler... *winks*

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  13. allyfeel,
    Ya lor. Usually the one who spends more time with bb become the bad guy by default.

    kat,
    "I always tell my parents & in-laws, their disciplining days are over, they just play with the children and send them back when they are naughty!!"
    --- Good for you to take such a relaxed attitude. I think I would become a bit "manchang" and frustrated at times if the kids get spoilt by grandparents though I enjoy the thought of them having grandparents to love them.

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