For the Single Moms: Get Used to Being the “Bad Cop” …At Least For Awhile

Finally it happened to me right in front of my face and I just cannot hide it. -CeCe Peniston 

OMG…It has finally happened! The man of your dreams literally crafted by the hands of God himself has descended into your life from Heaven above. He’s the combination of every poster, magazine cutout, and sensual dream you lauded over from 16 until now. Sure, you had to deal with one or two (hopefully not three) baby daddy a-holes in your life, but they don’t matter anymore. They’re just silhouettes, a fading reminder of the crash and burn relationships of your youth. You’ve done your best to be a good mom and just when you were about to give up hope for finding love, BOOM, something great walks into your life. Welcome to the small percentage of women who’ve found “The One.”

But, there’s one problem. Your children don’t see him as you see him even though he’s often around, at least not yet. To them he’s just a guy, not a leader.

In John Maxwell’s book “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership,” Maxwell speaks to what leadership is and what is required of leaders. Maxwell’s second law is The Law of Influence. It says that “the only thing a title can buy is a little time, either to increase your level of influence with others or to erase it.” Maxwell then goes on to say that (in regards to leadership) “hard work is required to gain influence in an organization and earn the right to become a leader.”

Yes ladies, you heard that right. A man has to earn his right to lead, not only with you but with your children. It likely won’t happen day one or day two, it may not even happen in a year, but both you and your dream man must realize that leadership is a privilege to be earned, not given. So what does that mean?

It means that it is unreasonable to expect your dream man to be anything more than a willing participant when it comes to the children. You’ve been the sole disciplinarian thus far, and this responsibility will remain on your shoulders until the man can earn the right to discipline the children. You don’t decide when that change takes place though, the children do. That’s hard because as a couple you two should share that burden, and eventually you will, but that won’t be for awhile.

In the meantime you will have to play Good Cop-Bad Cop with you being the bad cop. The children will look to the man as the “fun” parent until you two can begin to share the disciplining responsibilities. This will help the children adjust which is good for their psychological development. You want the man to develop into and be seen as a father figure as oppose to a dictator, and the only way he can achieve this is to first earn the children’s trust. Once they feel secure, THEN they will open up to his leadership.

It is important to not rush your dream man into being a father, or to rush your children into being fathered. With hard work and consistency this will develop over time.

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