‘Just Wait Till Your Father Gets Home!’. How often have you used this phrase?! When the going gets tough, the tough gets going!!
I know how it works – it’s been a long and trying day and no matter what you say, your little one hasn’t being following your instructions. In addition to this, you may also be a bit sick of being the ‘bad person’ here, you need you partner to come home, take control and ‘fix the problem’. Don’t worry, you’re not the only mum who’s doing it. Since time immemorial the phrase, ‘Just Wait Till Your Father Gets Home’ has been making rounds.
Just to get the record straight, ‘Just wait till your father gets home’, can just as easily be ‘Just wait till your MOTHER gets home’. Either way, this phrase and dealing with situations using this methodology can have serious effects on family dynamics.
Firstly, you are accepting the fact that you are in fact in the same rung in the ladder as your children and do not have the ‘power’ or ability to make decisions and carry them out. You are also discrediting yourself, soon whenever there are important (and not so important) decisions to make, you will find out that your little ones seek your partner to get permission and as they get older, it’s your partner’s opinions that would make more sense to them than yours. Do not get me wrong, in all families, children will have one parent that they feel easier to talk to, that’s simply natural, however, it should not be because you have withdrawn and let one person become the Parent in the house.
In line with the first reason is also the second. By saying ‘Just wait till your father gets here’, you are additionally saying ‘I’m powerless just like you,’ or even “You’re more powerful than me.” These are very ineffective messages to give your little ones. You should at all times show confidence when you are parenting, making decisions or when you’re dishing out punishments! Remember all those times when you say no and your little one goes to the Dad expecting to hear a different answer? It is due to you showing your little one that Dad knows better than me and might choose differently to Mum or that Dad may chose differently and that’s the final say on the matter.
There are of course times when we do need our partner’s validation. We have times when we need a sounding board or when we need to discuss before making a final decision. These can be during serious situations or one where you need more information before making a decision. At times like this, it is important to show a united front to your child. So when you say ‘I’ll discuss this with Dad and let you know what we think.’ – make sure that you don’t sound tired or stressful. Make sure you sound confident so that your child knows that you will BOTH be discussing before a decision is made.
‘Wait until your father gets here’, should never be a threat. After sometime the phrase loses it’s magic. While it may work a few times, you will find that soon your child will not care for your opinions and frankly it’s rather unfair that one parent needs to play bad cop all the time! I tell you, Dad too will probably not appreciate playing referee after a long day of work! You will rapidly end up losing control if you show your child that you are unable to control him and make decisions about him!