A Window into Life in the Suburbs

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27 (NIV)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Good Cop, Bad Cop Mummy and Daddy Style

When I started this blog, I had no intention of giving parenting advice. I still don't... although, I admit... occasionally I fall into the temptation of pontificating because, well... I'm a teacher by inclination and far too ready to dish out words of wisdom. I know all the hugely popular blogs offer something helpful to the audience so I'm not sure why people read mine except possibly to commiserate with me in collegial fashion.

I'm not sure how it started... and I don't know if it's a good or bad thing for people responsible for children to do. It sort of happened by accident. And I'm not recommending it, mind you.

I've noticed on the odd occasion, the husband and I play out a parenting version of "Good Cop, Bad Cop" routine with the children. It's not like we discuss tactics beforehand, like they do in the tv shows. No foam cups or drink cans to crush. We seem to lapse into it out of sheer exasperation... and stupidity, to be honest. We're not even trying to soften up the children. There's really nothing deliberate or even intentional about it. I don't know about you, but I seldom make plans to yell at the children or make a conscious effort to make threats. But they still come tumbling out...

On the upside, I don't think the children have become familiar with the concept, unless it's been featured in an episode of "Spongebob Squarepants" that I haven't seen.

We don't have an interrogation room or a two-way mirror... just in case you're wondering. Just the dinner table where most of this stuff happens. There's no violence or threats of violence... just Daddy glowering like dying ambers or towering over sheepish offenders like Andre the Giant. "Why aren't you dressed yet?!"
As for me... sometimes I'm the good cop... I sip my tea and I say in my most serene voice... "Well, if you don't get dressed before we leave, you can go to school in your pyjamas."
Here's another one that comes up far too often:
"You still haven't finished your homework, yet?! Why are taking so long?" (Bad Cop)
"If you don't finish your homework, that means you will be missing out on Girls' Brigade." (Good Cop)
That usually works wonders... maths homework is done faster than Speedy Gonzales can run from one town to the next, shouting "Andale, Andale, Arriba, Arriba"

Poor kids... wonder if they've worked it out by now that mummy and daddy don't exactly have a 10-year plan.

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