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Anyone who's done it before — or who is in the thick of it right now — knows that parenting is a complicated business. It's nice to have a partner you can trust as your children grow so you're not doing it alone, but you will each be better at handling different phases or parts of parenthood. This can lead to one parent trying to "save" the other in a sticky situation, but it's the wrong thing to do.
Why? According to what one early childhood therapist shared in a video on TikTok, parents trying to "rescue" each other from parenting is only going to create an ugly cycle that's hard to break out of.
The example he gave was a video of a mom trying to get her toddler to get out of the fridge and close the door. She asked her to do it multiple times, but the toddler refused. Then Dad stepped in with his scary voice (and even a cuss word or two), and not only did she still not get out of the fridge, but Mom had to remove her.
As he explained in the video, a parent jumping in to assert their authority during a time like this only undermines the authority that the other parent has in the child's eyes — and at the same time, it can make that parent feel less confident in their own skills.
And by a parent yelling and using an aggressive tone, the child isn't learning how to self-regulate, which should be the goal of a moment like this. Instead, they're "learning how to survive" when they get screamed at.
Next time you're in a similar situation, take a breath and let the other parent handle it. It can be hard not to get frustrated and step in, but the payoff will be worth it.