Yesterday, my lil’ girl decided to throw one of her tantrums – a fit of crying, screaming, shouting, and throwing herself on the floor. Why? She wanted one of her toys and couldn’t find it. Keep in mind that she hadn’t seen or played with this toy for a long time – but as soon as it was remembered, she decided that she had to have it – or else. Ok, so I helped her look for it, we rummaged through the piles of toys in her room, we looked on the shelves, in the cabinets, in the storage boxes – it was nowhere to be found. So – cue the tantrum.
I, for one, can honestly tell you that I do not know how to deal with these fits. What do I do? Do i ignore it hoping it would pass, do I shout back, or do i threaten her with punishments, telling her there will be no TV time, no candy, and no playtime. Nothing seemed to be working in terms of trying to get her to stop her frustrating tantrum. I needed help.
Lately, to my surprise and great happiness – daddy dearest has finally taken on the role of “bad cop”. During my lil’ girl’s last tantrum, he decided to give her a Time Out. He told her to sit in the corner of the couch, with a pillow on her lap, and stay there till’ she decides to stop crying. And, yesterday, he did it again. Lo’ and behold – it works! Not used to her precious daddy being the bad guy, the disciplinarian, she stops crying, looks at him with tearful eyes and the screams are suddenly gone. Our roles being reversed, she runs to me for comfort, for the hugs she usually gets from her dad when mommy is being “mean”. Do you blame me for the relief I felt that, for once, I can be the “good guy”?
Earning for her daddy’s approval, for his usual fun and playful self, my daughter spent the next few hours being an angel – she did what we told her, she ate her dinner quietly, went to bed without even a hint of objection, and kept saying “baba” – making sure that he’s still her daddy dearest, not the strange daddy that she’s not used to, the one who gave her a time out, the one who played her mommy’s role.
It’s so important to reverse these roles every now and then – sometimes, a kid needs to feel that discipline is being handed out from both parents. So daddies, try it when your lil’ one is screaming his/her head off, throwing a fit – try giving mommy a break and be the bad guy. It pays off.