Sunday, 9 October 2011

Wait Until Your Father Gets Home...

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...seems to be a phrase most of us remember our mothers uttering at one point or another. The dreaded "father as disciplinarian" is something I certainly remember from my own childhood (which is strange considering how much of a pussy cat he is now with his granddaughters...).

Whilst I would not go as far as saying that my husband and I have a good cop-bad cop thing going on when it comes to parenting, it is very true to say that the girls tend to respond to us differently on different occasions. For instance, I am normally better at cajoling them into getting ready for school in the mornings, while their dad has more luck with them at bedtime for some reason. Of course this is all very well and good when you are both around to take on your roles, but it only takes one of you not being around to throw the precarious equilibrium out of kilter.

Take Wednesdays, for instance. Wednesday is the day I officially start early (historically the day I have gone into the office, vs working from home), and him indoors therefore takes the kids to breakfast club. Or rather; it's the day they refuse to get dressed, howl like banshees over brushing their teeth and have to be dragged kicking and screaming to the car...

I like to think we have a more or less similar approach to disciplining our children, which I think is incredibly important. It's still funny, however, funny to see how our daughters still try that age old tactic enjoyed by generations of children, of playing one parent off against the other. Why do they think asking a different parent will get a different answer? At which age will they learn that the standard answer will always be "what did daddy/mummy say?" And at which age will they finally learn that, in general, we do not issue empty threats, but follow through on any threatened punishment...? (I suspect the answer, as with any questions related to children, is; when they reach 21... )

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