The Dad Pal

Lately I’ve been a little concerned that that the kids aren’t taking me seriously as their parent.

They seem to perceive me as one of their friends, a big playmate. It’s like I’m their Dad Pal.

If I issue a paternal command, instead of responding with   “Yes Father” or “OK Dad”, they reply with a high-five or a fist bump followed by a “Let’s go play!”

I feel like the Rodney Dangerfield of fathers, “I don’t get no respect!”

What makes it so discouraging is that Mom gets respect. If Mom commands, they obey. If Mom makes a rule, they consent and comply. If Mom gives maternal advice, they give it serious consideration.

But when I command, they’ve got to check with Mom first to see if it’s required for them to obey. When I make a rule, they debate and debunk. When I give fatherly advice, they don’t take me seriously!

“I tell you, I get no respect!”

So, how did I become their buddy, their friend, their playmate–their Dad Pal? How did I transfigure into their peer instead of  their parent?

I know what you’re thinking.

You think that instead of acting like a parent and imposing discipline and structure and telling them “No” that I’ve acted like a grandparent always inviting fun and games.

You think that I’m a “Yes” man–that I can’t tell them “No.” You think that I can’t (or won’t) enforce discipline and exercise my fatherly authority. You think that I’m a parental underachiever!

While I might concede that I  am guilty of some of these grandparent-like behaviors, it would be a whole lot easier to say “No” and assume control if they weren’t so darn cute!



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