The playing field of home can be fraught with frustration, especially when the coaches disagree and the players are uncooperative. It is rare to find parents who agree on how much discipline or what kind of discipline should be divvied out to their offspring.
More often than not, one of the greatest disagreements comes from how we are wired. Most two-parent families typically have a “softie” mom and a tough dad. Sometimes it’s the other way, but usually you’ll find moms collaborating that there are times when the dad is just “too hard” on the kids. I’m not talking about abusive, disrespectful, or unsympathetic rigidness. I’m talking about day-to-day discipline and consequences that parents deal out to their kids. Usually dad is stricter than mom.
There’s a reason for that. He’s more objective because he’s a male. It’s the way God made him. He’s also a dad. His desire is not to coddle and cripple his kids, encouraging them to just walk to first base. He wants to prepare them to make home runs and not just bunt to first base.
This head coach is just as much the parent of your kids as the assistant mom coach. Authentic dad coaches know a whole lot more about raising kids than many moms give them credit. How do I know? I’ve seen it in other families, and I’ve experienced it myself.
What’s the playing field like at your house? Do you agree on these things?
- Having or helping with chores, including the age a child should begin
- Picking up toys and straightening up the mess he/she has made
- Table manners and food consumption
- Getting dressed by themselves when they’re old enough and what age is “old enough”
- Completing homework or other responsibilities before bedtime or before doing fun things
- Helping with housework, laundry, meals, or chores
- Going without lunch or an assignment due at school because the child forgot to take it.
- Behavior in church and church attendance
- Traveling without fussing and complaining
- Sleeping in his/her own bed and in his/her own room
- Bedtime and bedtime routine
- Getting up time and morning routine
Disciplining in anger is wrong. Abuse is wrong. Yet that’s no excuse to withhold discipline. Sometimes moms fail to admit that discipline which is done in the right way and at the right time can promote a healthier and more cooperative player. That’s because moms tend to feel that dad expects too much of his players.
Children can be taught to do a lot more than is often expected of them. Children can be trained to be obedient and not whine, even when they are tired and feel restless. Fathers are good at this training – if the moms, aunts, and grandmas stay out of the way.
How many times have you seen a dad throw his child into the air and catch him while the aunties or grandma exclaim that he’s too rough and not being careful enough? Ever hear other men say that to dads? Of course not. This is what dads do. It’s fun, and it teaches kids to trust them.
Our mothering instinct causes many of us to think we have a better handle on raising kids than our spouse. We’re usually the ones who spend the most time with them, so we can “read” them better and understand them better – or so we think. We tend to not want to give credence to the fact that our spouse has an insight we don’t have. Moms want to coddle and keep the babies in protective gear while dads think it doesn’t hurt a kid to get hurt once in a while; he’ll learn better how to dodge balls if he doesn’t have all that padding. Moms want to keep their babies in the nest, and Dads want to encourage their fledglings to fly.
Therein lies the conflict.
Whether it’s with tussling, playing games, or chores, dads are usually the aggressive ones and encourage the tussling, insist on chores, and make sure their child doesn’t always win in a game. It’s a father’s way of helping prepare his child for life.
It’s time we allow dads to take back their rightful place in the homes. Before you think that you really know best, give the guy a chance.
So you think he’s too strict in what he wants from his kids? Try it his way for a month. Every Single Day. Do it his way. Don’t let your kids know (by sighing, rolling your eyes, or some other body language) that you don’t agree. Get behind him 100% and see what a difference it makes. When you discover he was right, acknowledge it and thank him for helping you become a better parent.
Remember that the dad is as much a parent as are you.
He loves his kids as much as you do. He might not show it the way you do, but he’d die for them just as you would. He’s fiercely protective and loyal to his offspring, and he wants them to grow up to be successful.
When we as moms fail to allow dad to be the dad, we are emasculating him.
We are treating him as our oldest child and not a parent-coach.
Moms, your role as mommy is so important. No one can nurture, cuddle and create a haven like you can. Yet the role of the dad is every bit as important. He needs to be encouraged and allowed to fulfill his role. He’ll step up to the plate if we back away and make room for him in the batter’s box.
Since you want your spouse to allow you to nurture as only a mommy can do, let him be the dad and father as only a father can. That’s his role. Don’t diminish his role, and don’t emasculate him.
Together, you can make quite a winning team!
How about it, moms? Can you identify? What has your experience been? Feel free to share this post with others. I’d love to hear from you.