Good cop-bad cop: Here’s how to get the parenting game right

Parenting can be tricky, especially if you have a fussy child. If you are planning to play good cop-bad cop with your partner, here's some expert advice for you.
Child regression
Be a friend to your child. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Devina Kaur Published: 18 Jan 2022, 11:31 am IST
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The good cop-bad cop parenting technique is well-known. Here’s the gist for those who don’t know. When your child has a crisis, one parent acts as the good cop, calming the child and abstaining from taking any drastic steps. The bad cop is in charge of enforcing the rules and is often the one who imposes the consequences. It may sound like something out of a parenting manual, but it certainly works.

If you and your partner adopt a good cop-bad cop relationship, you need to make it successful and beneficial for the entire family by keeping a few things in mind.

Parenting tips to handle your child

1. Know your child better

We usually have the mindset that we know what our children need. We think that whatever our parents gave us is sufficient and we should do the same. We raise them with examples of how our parents raised us and based on that we treat them accordingly. But that is completely wrong. As time changes, generations change so do the requirements of a child. We live in different surroundings compared to our grandparents. There is a big difference. The society, the environment, and technology. Everything is different. So knowing what they exactly need is very important.

You can get to know them in three ways:

* Observe them
* Spend time with them
* Communicate with them

Knowing your child’s needs will help you raise them better. If you want you can always take professional help, especially from new parents.

2. Putting Up a united front

Parental arguments and discussions should take place out of the child’s sight. Arguments are common, but in every situation, attempt to find a point of agreement. When your child tries to negotiate his or her way out of duties, stand by each other. Also, make it clear to the child that if the current decision isn’t working out, another one can be made, but the chores must be completed in some way.

Parental arguments should be done out of child’s sight Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Disagreements: how to handle them

Avoid using non-verbal signals to express disagreements while the child is present. Children are capable of reading their parents’ expressions and determining which parent will be more willing to give in to their wants. It is critical to understand that resolving disagreements quickly is not necessary. Parents can take a pause and resolve the conflict later. This will give them time to think and then return with a clear head. Discuss in private, reach a consensus, and present your decision to the child.

4. Discuss your child’s ambitions and understand their needs

Discuss how you plan to work together to achieve your goals. Seek for compromises and put each other’s theories to the test to evaluate exactly what sort of parental responsibility is good for your child in a particular situation. You could still have one partner who is more of a rule-follower and the other who is more of a rule-breaker. But rather than living in extremes, you should strive for a happier and more consistent medium.

Discuss your child’s needs on regular basis! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Relationships can be ruined

When the good cop-bad cop method is used, the child sees their parents in two ways: as loving and caring parents and as nagging disciplinarians. It is easy for parents to keep to their roles if there is no adequate communication between them, resulting in a split in the parenting techniques of each parent. Children frequently take advantage of this schism to acquire what they want and avoid facing the repercussions of their actions.

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About the Author

Devina Kaur is an inspirational speaker, radio host, and producer. She is also the author of the self-help book called "Too Fat Too Loud Too Ambitious". ...Read More

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