Friday, 19 September 2014

Good Cop/Bad Cop Routine for Kids – Word of Caution

Have you seen the Bollywood movie, “A Wednesday” where Aamir bashir and Jimmy Shergill, play the good cop/ bad cop routine (I know I am a movie buff). Jimmy Shergill plays the angry bad cop, who believes in using more hands than mouth and Aamir bashir plays the good cop, who is sympathetic towards the suspect and the suspect confesses and gives him the needed information. Can you relate it with your life in someway?

I know I am not the ideal mom with high parenting standards, but we all it at some level, intentionally/ unintentionally, like "Don't tell your Mom" or "Clean up the room, or else I Dad will scold you".  

Everyday is a battle, whether it is to get them ready for school, put them to bed, wash hands before eating, pull them out of the park, make them clean up, finish dinner, keep school bags in place, not pull each others hair, put off the TV, flush after using the restroom, throw in dustbin (haaaah I feel better venting that out). So, you see, it is it very easy to loose your patience and use whatever tactics works to get their attention and get things done.

If one parent keeps saying NO all the time being the Bad Cop, trying to impose discipline, it is very natural for the child to favor the Good Cop. At home, I am the “Bad Cop”, because I am the one who has to deal with them all day and when Dad comes home, suddenly both the kids light up and there are hugs and kisses (there are no songs playing the background, only a slow running heroin, read as kids, with wide open arms meeting her love after the atrocities of the world). And I am the one standing one side with the whip in my hand and a long sad face.

There are certain Conditions/ Disclaimers you need to keep in mind, because the kids are very smart in sensing the slightest hint if you as parents are not posing a united front before them and will use it as an opportunity to divide and rule. (No, I mean it) -
  1. Both parents need to establish certain parenting rules like not to contradict each other in front of kids, if one says NO, then NO it is. You have to talk out your differences in private and pose as one.
  2. Don’t feel guilty, as firstly they are too small to remember this for life and secondly. it will  not cause any permanent psychological disorder in your child. As long as you are not physically abusing them, just warnings and yelling they are going to be just fine.
  3. If you have more than one kid, apply it on one, and the improvements will be visible on all others (am I sounding like an ad for day cream). Next day use it on the other kid and let the first one be the audience. No baising, or else one kid will start feeling he’s the boss and the other feels low in confidence.
  4. Don’t overdo it, “Kabhi kisi to itna bhi mat darao ki darr hi khatam ho jaye” (I just watched ‘Mary Kom’ movie)
  5. Don’t take it too far where kids start to learn that one parent is more strict and the other is more permissive. You need to maintain that you are united and have no differences between you.
  6. Always remember what works for a 4 year old will not work on a 10 year old kid.

So there’s was the word of caution, use the trap at your own risk. 

Everybody loves only Dad, the "Good Cop"