Dad’s Taken Over Control and It’s Working!

A few weeks ago, I posted about the realization that Yancy might need to take more of a disciplinary role with Gus. I thought I’d let you know how it’s going.

I can make this story really short. It’s working! I don’t really even know why, but it’s working! Did I mention it’s working?

Basically, we sat down and discussed (I just realized how grown up I sound) how Yancy needed to shift his role from “fun dad” to “you better mind your mom” dad. We decided that whenever Yancy was around, he would be the one to make sure that directions were followed and manage all problematic behavior which in Gus’s case usually boils down to temper tantrum patrol.

We also implemented a system for rewards and consequences for Gus’s behavior choices. We’re both REALLY big on trying to get him to understand that he has choices about how he behaves. We want him to know that he is in control over his behavior. Lately, he’s fallen in love with video games and he gets 20 minutes of video game time each night. It’s given us something that we can remove that he really cares about.

We’ve had similar systems in place before, but I’m always the one who manages the system. It’s made sense because I’m the one who spends the most time with Gus. We’ve had to get creative, but Yancy is now the one who has the discussion with Gus about the decisions he’s made and which privilege he’s lost. We’ve reversed the roles.

It has made a huge difference. It started the very first weekend. I thought maybe it was a fluke, but it’s been two weeks and still going strong. Gus doesn’t like having to talk to his dad about his misbehavior while he was at work. I think it’s just as aversive to him as losing his precious video game time. He also doesn’t like it when Yancy is the one disciplining him.

It’s been weird for me to shift into a more passive role. Let’s just say a few pieces of my tongue may be missing. But it’s getting easier.

I don’t know why it’s working, either. I mean I say the exact same things to Gus. I practically wrote the script for Yancy to follow, but it has a different effect on Gus when it comes from Yancy. I could spend lots of time trying to figure out why, but the truth is that the only thing that really matters to me is effectiveness.

See, can’t you tell how well behaved he looks?

 

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10 Responses to Dad’s Taken Over Control and It’s Working!

  1. Kat says:

    We too have this going on in our home. Liam will not listen to me the 99 times I explain to him climbing on X, Y, or Z could hurt him but if Eric does, that boy will stop!

    Maybe it’s the tone of voice, they’ve not been around all day to sense the frustration and maybe toddlers sense that. By the end of the day when Liam’s not listening at all I think he knows I’m done.

    Glad it’s working for you.

    • Mommy Psychologist says:

      Me too! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I think Liam and Gus are from the same mold:)

  2. Marisa says:

    Great news!

  3. Sweet pic! Glad things are working out.

  4. Barnmaven says:

    It is a big shock to the system when the “easy” parent becomes involved in the discipline. I’m glad its working — and I think its really helpful and better for a relationship when both parents are equally involved in discipline. Working as a team strengthens your bond with one another and models good relationships for Gus.

    Love the photo. I always love to see daddies loving their babies.

  5. Rach says:

    How wonderful for you and your family! I’m so happy for you!

    My sister and I were talking today about tone of voice when dealing with your kids and how sometimes you approach them with a tone that conveys they’re in trouble or going to be shortly, even though you’ve only asked them to do something for the first time (“Go get your shoes on RIGHT NOW!” instead of “Lil, it’s time to get shoes.”) because you are so used to them NOT following directions and making poor choices you come to expect that to be the case. I know *I’m* terribly guilty of that. I’ve been trying to watch my tone and it’s hard.

    We talk of choices in our home too. We talk about consequences of poor choices (and always bring the conversation back around to the fact they were *her* choices to make), and rewards of good choices. Lil will look at you with sad, soulful eyes and say, “When you make bad choices, bad things happen.” Now if she could just make those good choices more often…;)

  6. Peg says:

    Glad to hear it worked!

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