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Train Up a Child: Dad’s dilemma

By Pat Lamb

Dad has a dilemma as he attempts to be head of his home. That dilemma is how to please mom and, at the same time, “bring home the bacon” and train the kids properly.

I’m afraid that too many of us as mothers may be too critical of dad and his attempts to discipline and teach the children. Often, we expect dad to see things just exactly as we see them and do just exactly as we would when they make an effort to direct the children. If God had intended us both to think the same, he would have made us both the same. Often dad wields a firmer hand than a mother would. I believe that is the way it should be. It seems to be the nature of mom to nurture and cuddle. Too many times we want to jump in and rescue a child when dad knows that firmness is needed. Dad doesn’t want to disappoint mom. This puts him in a tough spot.

Author Pat Lamb. (FILE)

One comedian in Branson joked that a woman’s brain has a four lane highway going from the left brain to the right brain and men have a narrow cow path going from one side of the brain to the other. This makes women more able to multi-task where men are more apt to think of one thing at a time. Generally, this is true.

Of course, there are exceptions to all of the research findings. Some men can multi-task. For those men who find multi-tasking difficult, it is really hard to come home from work and immediately switch to the role of being a dad. I remember reading in the 50’s that the wife should wait until the husband has been home from work 20 minutes before she starts telling him about the day with the kids! Times have certainly changed as now many women are also working outside the home. However, a man may still find it more difficult to adjust quickly to a different set of tasks from what he faced at work. Also, many jobs now require the person to be on call for 24 hours. In this case, it is especially difficult to switch the mind back and forth to concentrate on what the children need.

Many dads hesitate to discipline the children for fear they are not doing it properly. They want the children to like them, and may fear that they only see him when he is scolding them for something, and will hold it against him. The truth is that even though children may resent discipline for a time, in the long run there will be more respect for parents when they show that they care enough to risk not being liked for the sake of a child. As for not being sure of how to discipline and teach properly, dads need to avail themselves of books and other information available to help them learn.

Dr. James Dobson has written many wonderful books that give insight into how children think and react. Dads need to visit the school and meet the teachers and get involved with their children’s activities. Also, dad needs to make sure there is a time each week for the family to have devotions and an opportunity for each family member to express any concerns or ask questions.

We can all learn and do better when it comes to bringing up the children. Mom needs to be more patient with dad and dad needs to make more effort to learn about children and communicate with the family.

(The comments on this page are the opinions of the writer, and not necessarily those of Branson Globe, or its staff. Want to weigh-in? Have something to say? Share it with us in your own Letter to the Editor. See submission guidelines in lower left corner of this page.)

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