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Discipline

The Actions of an Emasculated Father

On a recent plane trip, I witnessed the actions of an emasculated father. He was traveling with his wife and two boys. As soon as the door was shut, one of the boys demanded his tablet and headphones.

But they were in the checked bag.

The father was conciliatory, saying they would get it at the next airport. This was a short flight. It would be over in no time. When the boy wouldn’t calm down, the father committed his biggest sin. He threatened to call the flight attendant over and that she would kick the boy off the plane.

When we were in the air, halfway to the destination, the father made this same threat. It was a lie before, but by then it was an obvious lie.

The father had abdicated and surrendered his authority. He couldn’t silence the kid with a look or a word. So he had to appeal to a higher authority, even one as lame as the closest flight attendant. Unless it is a drastic situation or an emergency, the father should not be appealing to any higher, other than God. He is the leader. He is the head. He is where the buck stops.

Teachers should appeal to him. The mother should appeal to him. The father is the cavalry who comes in and sets things right. He’s not the guy using another woman as a shield.

This is why you need to build gravitas. You need to cultivate your own authority by taking responsibility for your family and making sure the bank is full of your love and affection.

This obviously wasn’t the first time this guy had abdicated his responsibility. And it won’t be the last. If you are in a similar spot, know that you can reclaim your authority. It just takes some work.

Better to never lose it in the first place.

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