How Long Distance Discipline Should Work

I was underway last week preparing for ULTRA-S, something I will describe in a future post. I'm excited about it because I'm working on a major qualification called the Afloat Training Specialist qualification. It's fairly intense and I'm really hoping I pass the oral board this week!

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. Last week I was away, and Timothy had been giving Alicia some problems with obedience and attitude. As it was Tuesday of last week when Timothy started having discipline issues, Alicia was not content to wait the rest of the week to fix his behavior upon my return. And I was itching to find a way to solve the problem as well, from the ship.

Since the majority of the issues revolved around Timothy and the family Nintendo DS, Alicia wanted to take it away. Usually we do this for a day or so at a time if he gets overstimulated or if he has a bad attitude. However, as it was going to be another four days before I would be home, Alicia wanted to take it away for the remainder of the week.

So she asked me if I was ok with that. A less-submissive woman would have dished out punishment and made me accept it, but Alicia came to me with her desires and asked permission to give this punishment. I gave her the permission she sought for two reasons:

1. She presented her case and asked. I was honored by her actions, which made it so very easy to allow this effort to continue.
2. Timothy was showing signs early on of having an attitude problem in my absence. He was showing defiance. Alicia presented a compelling way to handle the situation.

Timothy did fine! He was very sorry as soon as Alicia took the DS away. But Alicia told him the truth, that he was sorry he lost the DS, not that he had disobeyed her. He accepted his lot and found other activities. When I got home on Saturday, he and I had a talk, spent some quality time together, and then he asked nicely if he could have his DS back. He played on it for a few minutes and then put it away so we could play football.

I'm very pleased with how this turned out. This is how a family structure, in my opinion, should work when the husband is away. I can only take a small amount of the credit for this as Alicia did her part first and submitted to me as her husband.

Some people have asked me how in the world Alicia can be a submissive wife and still make decisions in my absence. It's easy. I don't rule my home with an iron fist. Alicia is my partner and my friend. When she makes a call, the kids know that I support it, but as often as possible, she presents her case to me and I make the decision. This one was easy. I had wanted to defend Alicia in some way, so this made sense to me.

But I will admit that we are still learning. Does anyone have any ideas for us? Any way you might have handled that situation as a wife, or as a husband?

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