Fortune 100 Dad

Dear Dr. Darcy:

I am the CEO of a Fortune 100 Company and yet I can’t run my home.  My children who are ages 2 and 8, have overtaken my life.  When I am home I am virtually always yelling.  My wife works as well, though only part-time.  We have 2 full-time nannies who the children listen to and follow direction from. I know this because we have a web-based nanny cam throughout the home and in the cars.

I don’t understand why they are so obedient to the nannies and not to me or my wife.  I feel so out of control that I’d gladly pay you to move in for 2 weeks.

ANSWER

How much would you pay?  Just kidding.  The last thing you need is more staff.

The minute you begin to yell, you’ve lost control. You need to employ the same psychology at home that you use at work.  How would you respond to a staff member who didn’t follow direction?  Actually, it’s probably been 10 years (or more) since you were low enough on the food chain where a staff member would dare to disobey you.  But you understand my point, right?  You would never respond by yelling, because yelling simply escalates things and it does not underscore your authority; to the contrary, it’s an indication that you are powerless.

You’re attaching some sort of negative meaning to the fact that the kids aren’t responding to your authority. Your kids are acting out because they are crystal clear that when the clock strikes whatever hour the nannies go off duty, the 2 people manning the next shift are less confident, less trained, and easy to take advantage of. It’s no deeper than that.  It would be no different than if I walked into your company tomorrow and began doing your job.  It would take no time whatsoever for employees to determine that I lack the training that you have.  So we need to get you up to speed on your parenting skills.

I wish there was a Parenting University for soon-to-be parents.  Or perhaps Parenting 101 could take the place of one of our under-applied high school courses, like Algebra, for example.  After all, 85% of Americans become parents.  It’s a recipe in parental failure that American society seems to think that parenting skills are inherent.  I could lament endlessly on this subject, but let me get back to you.

There’s nothing too deep about this solve:  You need skills and training – it’s that simple.  Let’s get you into a parenting course ASAP.  Ask the nannies if, for the next 2 months, they’d be willing to work overtime so that one of them is on deck when you guys take over the evening shift.  Email me for a referral.

Writer's Stats: Male, heterosexual.