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Sometimes You Just Have to Be the Parent

Last night I was driving home from work and was rehashing what had happened in my home the night before. We all got to experience a daddy melt down (DMD for short). What is a DMD you ask? At our house these occur when I (the daddy) have come to the end of my patience on a issue that I think needs to change but have not set my foot down. You see I struggle with a parental disorder: WMCTLM Disease. You know what I am talking about Want My Child To Like Me Disease. In my perfect world, I would mention something once and my son would respond with a hearty: “Yes, father you are right and I have seen the error of my way and now I am going to adjust the way I have been doing things so that you will have an easier time around me and I will be all the better. Thank you dad, I not only love you but like the fact that your ways make sense and dadgum it I like you too.”

But, what really happens is
1. I observe something that needs to change
2. I mention it
3. I experience resistance for a period of time (sometimes short, sometimes long)
4. I finally get frustrated that we are not making the progress I think we need to
5. I have a DMD
6. I apologize for being a maniac
7. I set me foot down and finally see a break through with occasional lapses 

Let me say for the record that my son is AWESOME and this article is not about him but it is rather about me and my unwillingness to step into the parental fray. You see I really do think that boys will be boys and what he is doing is normal. He is just growing up. He is learning. He is exposed to a new way of doing thing and like everybody else he struggles with change. On some issues he is an early adapter, some issues he is a late adapter and on some issue he is a “ain’t gonna adapt to that unless there is a DMD involved.” Happens at the workplace all the time. If you have ever led in any environment for any length of time you know that leadership requires a meltdown occasionally to see movement in key areas. Employees will “wait you out” to see if you really are serious and then adjust. Some call this behavior passive aggressive; i.e. “I ain’t gonna do it till there is a DMD.”

Parenting like other kinds of leadership is not for the faint of heart. In fact I would say that leadership deficiencies that I possess in other areas are the same deficiencies that I experience as a parent. Nothing changes except that I think that my child should obey me because I am his dad and I love him. That, my friend, is flawed thinking! Children (like everybody else) need to be led. And that is the parent’s job: to lead. Sometimes you just have to be the parent. Said another way, sometimes you just have to be the leader.

On my way home, I was stewing over my melt down and was bemoaning the fact that I didn’t like the way things were going. I was brainstorming about how we could get my son to move to this next step. When it occurs to me: Howington you are the parent in this situation, you need to provide some leadership. Oh yeah! So we huddled up as a family and instated the new legislation. And without a daddy melt down. Time will tell if this gonna be an easy or a hard transition, but like every transition in my son’s life (or mine for that matter) change begins with a first step in the right direction with a clear understanding of what needs to happen. Without a vision people run wild. It is my job to give vision in my home and deal with the fallout if there is any. Sometimes you just have to be the parent!

This entry was posted in Family.

2 comments on “Sometimes You Just Have to Be the Parent

  1. Kevin E Beasley says:

    Love It!! Do you also struggle with wanting everyone else to like you? Just curious…


  2. The Howitzer says:

    yes, I do.. there is a part of me that doesn’t care what others think and another part that is crippled by what others think.. I think the latter created the formerthe hardest part of blogging is putting your thoughts on the line and letting people evaluate.. the curse of being an old pastor type.. that’s the thing that drove me out of the ministry.. people’s opinions.. thanks for the question


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