Every parent will tell you that you have to find a middle ground when it comes to disciplining your child. Discipline is a necessary part to parenting. Not a single person has a perfect child even though we all like to believe it could be so. There is a reason why the universe has opposites to everything, the same can be true for parents.
All of us have different parenting styles, most of which was given to us by how we were raised. I was raised in a very strict upbringing and was taught that children were to be seen and not heard. My husband on the other hand wasn’t raised with as strict of an upbringing as me and the differences definitely show in our parenting styles. I am more aggressive and a perfectionist whereas Brian is mellow and passive. Thankfully where I am too hard on Reagan at times, he has a much more gentle approach to balance me out.
As Reagan moved into full blown toddlerhood Brian and I were definitely finding ourselves defined in the roles of good parent, bad parent. I tend to discipline Reagan more than Brian and for that if I scold her she immediately wants to run to daddy so he can fix everything and make mean mommy go away. At first I accepted that I had stepped into that role. After a while it started to wear on me that I had become the bad parent and jealousy started to creep in. I found myself getting angry at Brian and resenting him for being the good parent.
I had to sit down with him and talk about it because it was starting to eat at me. I didn’t want to always be the one scolding Reagan and making sure she behaved. I wanted him to enforce some rules, not undermine me when I did and work together as a team so Reagan saw a united front. The last thing I wanted was her to know that if mom said no, she could go running to dad and he would fix everything.
Once we sat down and talked it through we realized that we both had some things to work on. I had to be less of a perfectionist and stop doing things out of anger and frustration. Brian had to be more assertive and not always be the nice guy. It was one of the best talks we could have had when it came to raising Reagan. An important thing for all parents to do, talk! I remember talking to a woman at the DMV who said she was married to the love of her life and they had a phenomenal relationship for ten years. They ended up having a daughter and after her sixth birthday they got divorced because they couldn’t see eye to eye on how to discipline and raise her. They had never talked about it; their goals for their child, how they would raise her, the discipline it would take.
As parents our goal for Reagan is to know self discipline, the value of working hard, how to have good social skills and good coping skills, to have an open mind and know about self love. Understanding how Brian and I work in our own style as to how we are going to teach these to her is just as important. Having competing methods will never benefit us or Reagan. So even though at times there is still good parent, bad parent in our house at least the resentment is gone and we have a better understanding of each other’s roles.