Friday, October 30, 2009

Maintaining Authority When Dad is Away - Part 3

Note: Continued from Maintaining Authority When Dad is Away - Part 2

The whole point is that Dad is in charge all the time. That is the mindset Mom must have while executing the parenting in his absence and when he returns home. Though she must be willing to take the children in hand should her husband require it, she must first of all encourage her husband to take the initiative when he is home. Both parents should be in agreement ahead of time to follow this order, and especially concerning issues which have come up while he was gone. If Mom does give an order to the children while Dad is home and the child disobeys, he should approach the child personally and remind him or her to obey Mother. This also should be discussed and agreed upon ahead of time.

It would also help if Dad could deal with each child individually and spend some quality one-on-one time with them while he is home. That would make Mom's job so much easier by derailing some of the stress children develop from having their father absent for long periods of time. It may be something as simple as having one of the kids accompany him to the store and talk to them while driving and searching the aisles. He might have a child help him on a project around the house and engage in conversation and fellowship while they work side by side. He could even have one or more of the kids sit with him on the couch while he watches a game and turn his attention to them personally during the commercials. Even that is better than nothing!

Though parenting during Dad's absence is difficult, it is not impossible. Communication, especially dealing with each parent's discipline styles and expectations, is the key to averting disasters in maintaining balanced parenting during periods of a father's absence. Parents must pray for wisdom and expect the Lord to provide it as He has promised in His Word. We have not because we ask not.