This is something I just tell myself.
In my personal situation, dad is the one staying home most of the time and caring for our nearly 5 year old son, Joel. He is very patient; I think he is too patient sometimes. He rarely gives out to him.
When my son is whinging or being stubborn, his dad sits down with him and explains the situation, and if it’s needed, he negotiates. But he rarely relies on the “because I say so!!!!”
I, on the other hand, don’t have that patience. I admire what dad does, but many times I think to myself, “ffs, cut the negotiating and just GET IT DONE”. Many times I think that he is too soft on him.
Lately I have been seeing that Joel sometimes gets a bit overwhelmed with his feelings and he doesn’t know how to control them. It doesn’t happen very often and is not something worrying, but especially when he is overtired, he can start crying about something and can’t stop. If we ask him what’s wrong he says he is confused or frustrated but doesn’t know why. If we ask him why he is upset, he says he doesn’t know but he can’t stop being upset.
The other day, we visited the family and J stayed up well past his bedtime, resulting in a bit of a meltdown when it was time to go to bed. I, as usual, was standing towering over him, pointing my finger at him, threatening him with stuff if he just didn’t get up to bed INMEDIATLY.
His dad sat down bedside him and talked to him, but it wasn’t working. Then he said to him, “get up, lets going to play a game”. He got my son’s attention in a second. He continued: “Let’s play this game where you have to pick 10 apples from this imaginary tree. You pick them one by one and put them in this imaginary basket.” Joel was only too happy to oblige. The game took 3 or 4 minutes, and it worked. It completely distracted Joel from the upsetting feelings he was focusing on. The game made him laugh and calmed him down. When it finished, he was happy to go to bed.
Once tucked in bed, he said to me “Thank you for cheering me up when I was upset”. I said to him he had to thank daddy, and I told myself the same.