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The Good Cop and Bad Cop of Parenting


One question I’m asked constantly by mothers is why is dad always the fun one?

Studies show mothers feel like the task master in the family and the one who makes sure home work is done, appointments made, and discipline installed. The problem with all that is, it’s boring right?

I walked by the park just the other day and there were lots of children and parents inside. Most notably there were maybe 10 or 12 mothers with their kids and one dad. While the mothers sat on their smartphones or chatted to each other sipping coffee, the dad was tearing around the play area with his three children squealing with delight and chasing him about. They were swinging off his legs and then he would pretend that they had dragged him down to the floor and they’d dive on top of him. It made me smile, there’s nothing nicer to see than children having carefree fun. Those three children in the park were enjoying themselves the most.

If you go to any park or beach and look around you will quickly see that the dads are the ones playing with their children. They’re running around, kicking a football or playing frisbee, they’re play fighting or rolling on the floor with them.

Leisure Time with Dad

Kids tend to spend more time doing boring things with their mothers, getting dragged around the shops, or sitting in a café watching them drink coffee and talking to their friends or being yelled at because they are in the way when mum is doing housework.

If they go out for the day with dad, they tend to be doing more fun activities. Dads are the ones that teach them how to play sports, or take them fishing, or have sword fights with cardboard tubes and a little rough and tumble. When you think about this, it’s clear to see why Dad is seen as the fun one.

Menial Tasks aren’t any Fun.

Mothers are stressed out by the seemingly endless tasks that having children create. There are lunches to be packed, clothes to be washed, housework, travelling to all the kids sporting commitments, all snow balled even further in the modern world when so many mothers work. That is where time management is very important. In every family life there must be time for work and time for fun. I’ve heard so many times that women can multi-task and men cannot, but this is simply not true. Nobody can ever concentrate on more than one task at anyone time.

Mindfulness is Important

Working in the here and now can massively reduce stress levels for parents. When you’re thinking about the mountain of washing up that needs doing, you are not fully concentrating on what you’re doing now. So, you are stressing about a task that you haven’t even started yet and forgetting about the one you are doing. The art of mindfulness is purely about living in the present and forgetting what is in the future or the past. This can really help in your kid’s perception of you, such as Mummy’s stressed out and I’m annoying her by trying to get her attention.

Here’s a quote from Mindful.Org about Mindful Practices for Parents:

Give more attention. And less of everything else. Devote one hour a day to giving undistracted attention to your children. Not in activities driven by your agenda, but according to their terms. Undivided attention is the most concrete expression of love you can give.

And look out for my blog about mindfulness in a few weeks.

How Can I Be More Fun For My Kids?

Strangely, it is a question that is asked all the time, but it really isn’t the hardest question to answer; have more fun with them. I’m sure when you’re out with friends, you’re not stressed and boring, so in short, be that person more. You know, the one that has a name that isn’t mum.

I Want To Be a Fun Mum

If you want to be a fun mum, then take them to fun places and do fun things. Life is not as serious as we all seem to think it is. If you can’t have fun, then what have you got?

See next week’s article, Fun with Mum for lots of great ideas that’ll put a smile on your families faces and create happy memories.

Barry S. Brunswick is an author. You can buy his books on Amazon: 
Dreamland Part 1 – The Fabric of Dreams
Dreamland Part 2 – The Masters of Light
The War of The Turnips
Barry Brunswick’s Tall Tales – A Short Story Collection
Inner Outer – A Poetry Collection

Follow Barry on FacebookPinterest and Twitter.

3 thoughts on “The Good Cop and Bad Cop of Parenting

  1. […] another busy week of creating magic. This week I’ve been blogging away. After this weeks blog The Good Cop and Bad Cop of Parenting: Why is dad always the fun one? I have been writing the follow ups ‘Five Things for fun mums’ and a ‘A Brief Introduction to […]

  2. […] Related blog: The Good Cop Bad Cop Of Parenting […]

  3. […] Lastly, I’d like to thank my wife, Betty for the fantastic ‘Fun with Mum’ blog she worked on for me. And as always, there’s plenty more fun coming down the pipe. Did you read the blog about Good Cop Bad Cop of Parenting? […]

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