Good cop, bad cop

Good cop or bad cop parenting, which category do you fall into?

Either way both these roles can be damaging. This kind of parenting not only splits the parents, but splits the children as well because the good cop parent will always been the good parent by their children and the bad parent, will always be the bad parent, even if he or she tries to be the good parent.

I grew up with this style of parenting. It’s become easier for families today to parent this way. It becomes impossible for the bad parent to parent, let alone be the good parent, if the other parent insists on continuing to parent in this way. Parents shouldn’t be good or bad cops and they shouldn’t be categorised.

Both parents should take the same approach when it comes to raising their children. Unfortunately, with this parenting, children will fail to meet their responsibilities because of the lack of consistency in their parents’ approach to how they parent. When one parent makes a suggestion, the other parent must support the suggestion, whether they both agree or not.

If there is a difference of opinion that can be discussed later. Children need to know and see that both parents support each other. Any suggestions made need to be followed through by both parents. In the longer term, I believe the bad parent will eventually become the good parent.

Children eventually tend to see and form their own opinions and often see why the bad parent was never really the bad parent after all. It’s a shame that one parent over another always gets a bad press.

But children must and only have to look at the way they turn out as adults to understand why the ‘bad cop parent’ was never bad at all.


7 Sep, 2013

4 thoughts on “Good cop, bad cop

  1. I think for the most part Frank and I have always been on the same page when it comes to our children.

    I do remember in the beginning of our relationship we had a lot of trouble with Frank’s daughter, especially with lying. She would lie to me and her father, but she would twist words around so she didn’t look so bad to her father and he and others would believe her over me.

    Finally everyone saw through her games and started believing me. I finally tired of her attitude toward me and told her I wasn’t parenting her anymore. If she needed something she needed to go to her dad. That worked wonderfully. Things got better between us and she improved in her attitude.

    We’re on the same page when it comes to our son now, but I’m a little stricter than Frank. He is more playful but he disciplines our son well and he listens more to him. Maybe I need to tone it down some.

    I believe parents do need to be on the same page when it comes to discipline and rules.

    1. Thanks Lisa. I believe that too. It’s great how reverse psychology works.

      I agree with you that both parents need to be on the same page as far as discipline and rules are concerned. When they’re not, it’s easy for the children to take advantage and makes it harder for the parents to communicate.

      Although my mum was strict, in the longer term I feel she was a better parent because she was more strict. I knew where I stood and learned a lot about respect and what my boundaries were. It’s hard for one parent to do that and be the good parent too.

      I don’t think that scenario works, until children are much older and they can see things more clearly for themselves.

  2. My parents were neither so I didn’t really have any role models when it came to parenting my own daughter!

    Her mother and I definitely didn’t agree on a lot of things so it made for a very difficult time. Most of my parenting decisions were taken away from me when I made the mistake of giving her sole custody when I was battling my own demons.

    My daughter has never really been pushed to learn to do things on her own so now I’m trying to help her out more and it’s been very difficult considering she is so enmeshed with her mother.

    I guess I am having to learn how to be the bad cop since her mother hasn’t really done her part! I just want my daughter to be happy and healthy.

    1. Thanks Randy. I know how you feel about your parentage, but at least now you’re trying your best to help your daughter. It’s never easy to discipline children, particularly when you’re having to start from scratch.

      Unfortunately we will always be seen as the bad parent because it’s easier not to discipline and be the good fun parent. I am a firm believer though in time that children will see the whole picture like you have with your parents parenting you.

      We just have to wait for that time. It will come, we just have to be patient.

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