We’ve got a girl. I’ve heard that at some age little girls fall in love with their daddies (such as me) and grow disobedient to their mommies. I don’t know if that really is true, in general, or not and if so at what age.
At 2.5, our girl seems to enjoy mommy’s company very much, although I believe I’m generally much more successful than mommy is at getting her to listen and obey. Our girl often seems to intentionally rebel against mommy, which infuriates mom (who has much less patience than dad), which only seems to make things worse. But I don’t think the problem is due to it being mother-daughter. I believe it’s because I use a better tone when speaking with the girl.
It’s a subtle art, but here’s how I play it. With difficult issues like getting in and out of hte bath and going to bed, I don’t want to simply request her to do it, because then she’ll simply refuse and go on playing with whatever she’s doing. Nor do I want to demand too strongly for her to do it, because then she may want to rebel against my order. Instead, I tend to tell her very firmly and matter of factly that we’re going to do X now. Not a request, not a harsh demand, but an unhesitating statement of fact. Often I’ll use a playful voice, indicating how much fun it will be to take a bath or go to bed, but that’s secondary. Of primary importance is the fact that we’re going to do it. Period.
My wife has trouble with the above and often ends up arguing with our girl, pleading, getting emotional, yelling, etc, all of which to me seem counterproductive. The girl sees she’s getting a reaction – that she has power over my wife, that she’s winning – so it encourages her resistance. I don’t do that. Also, because I state it so matter of factly, if the girl refuses, I can just pick her up and carry her there and she usually puts up little resistance, because I’ve made it clear there’s no choice on the subject.
Sometimes, when the matter is more serious and/or I encounter resistance I’ll use a deep firm voice as one would use when training a dog, and I find that very effective. There’s no emotion or pleading; it’s just a firm command. The wife has trouble doing that, I believe, and I think that causes problems for her.
How about your family?