My friends make comments to their children such as, “just wait until dad gets home” or “I get to be the good cop today”.  They will comment on how their child has a current favorite parent, which can change day-to-day.  Single parents don’t have the good cop/bad cop game to play.  There is just one cop.  I am sure there are some single parents who still have shared custody that can play the cop game, but for me, it’s just me ..the sole disciplinarian…and this is my blog.

Now that HJ is getting well into his terrible twos and beginning to be disciplined, I see how necessary the good cop/bad cop roles are.  There are times where I don’t feel like disciplining him.  Times where I just want to laugh.  In most houses this is probably where I could threaten them with the other parent.  For me, I just need to get the disciplining over with.  It is times like this where I want to be the “cool parent” and not the discipline-er.

I dislike putting HJ in time outs.  I hate seeing him cry.  And my heart broke a little when he told me I was a meanie.  To be honest, it made me a little envious of my friends who can pass off the disciplining and don’t always have to be the bad cop. 

I also get terrified that this means I am going to turn in to a pushover.  I find it hard to say no to HJ.  I try my best to hold my ground, but every now and again I cave.  Do any parents have advice on how to hold firm?  To not cave to a sweet little smile?  Any experiences with good cop/bad cop?

4 Thoughts on “Good Cop, Bad Cop

  1. My advice would be this: don’t ‘cave’ – instead, change your mind.

    Make sure he knows you have decided something different, not that he has worn you down into letting him have his way. It’s a subtle difference, but it reinforces that you are in charge, and you make the decisions.

    Anyway, I’m sure you’re doing a great job! From everything you write on here, he is one lucky kid.

  2. Good cop, bad cop ain’t all it’s cracked up to be, I’ve been there done that and now do it alone. A lot of co-parents or married families aren’t on the same page, that can be tough especially at this age where you’re kind of starting to set boundaries. You don’t have to rule with an iron fist, just with love. So you laugh, who says you can’t enforce a consequence just because your laughing? My kids have always been pretty good, I don’t spank, rarely time out anymore; they’ve always responded really well to a simple consequence for the crime, ie, taking away time at the park, or dessert, or tv time. After I got divorced I felt guilty that their Dad was absent so I spoiled them, trust me, that got me nothing but spoiled brats. Lesson learned and we’re good. You’ll be fine;)

  3. Tough job huh? Well, that’s what we call different strokes for different folks. Your little HJ is definitely unique so only you know exactly how to handle him. But yes, even if it hurts us, sometimes we can’t help but discipline. He will surely understand it’s the other side of a parent’s love. Goodluck! 🙂


  4. What a great blog

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