How to Get Dad More Involved

Dear Sara,
I have three children ages eight, ten and twelve. I have rules and chore expectations and for the most part they are very well behaved. For the last five years my husband has had a job out of the country which means that he is not home a lot. When he comes home everything is chaos. He doesn’t understand that they need to eat regular meals and go to bed at a certain time and help out around the house. He does what he wants and they ignore me. I have asked him to make them follow the rules but he just does what he wants and says he wants to enjoy the kids in the little time he has with them. How can I get him to cooperate?
Frustrated Mom

Dear Frustrated Mom,
It sounds like your husband misses your kids so much that he is trying to make up for lost time by being the most fun Dad ever. Since you seem to have everything under control while he is away, his job as a parent doesn’t seem necessary so he can be the fun parent when he is at home.
You might try discussing problems that you have with the kids and asking his advice to see if you can get him more engaged as a parent. If the kids are disrespectful to you when he is there you could ask him to help you deal with it. Try to include him in parenting the children as much as possible. Since your husband is not around a lot he probably doesn’t understand the problems of parenting like he should. Since he is not there very often you may just have to tolerate the chaos when he is.

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