Who Wears the Pants? Kids or Parents? Parts 1 – 3

In the late 1950s the sitcom “Father Knows Best” ran for six successful seasons. Jim Anderson was the confident father who was clearly the loving authority in his home, along with his wife, Margaret. Whenever their children Betty, Bud, and Kathy needed advice on anything at all, they always turned to their father, because he “knew best.”

A mere 30 years later, the Simpsons debuted in 1990 with the plot being the antics of the know it all pre-teen son Bart Simpson and his buffoon father, Homer, who was clearly out of control as a father and husband and the brunt of most jokes on the show. It is a parody of American family and culture that now claims to be the longest running American sitcom in history!

And while these sitcom examples are somewhat extreme and obvious, it isn’t so clear how 21st century parents, who want to lead their children to Christ and a successful future, navigate how much to protect and guide and how much to allow independence and even difficulty.

  • What is the fine line between kids feeling special and being spoiled?
  • Should your kids be the most important people in your family?
  • Is your child’s happiness your greatest concern?
  • How is child’s view of God as an authority in their life influenced by your authority?


Jim Mhoon | former VP of Content Development at Focus on the Family, Family Counselor, Media Consultant & Publisher

Jim has been developing content for books, videos, websites, magazines, membership programs and events since 1991. A highlight of Jim’s time at Focus on the Family was launching a club version of the popular Adventures in Odyssey program that now has thousands of members from all over the world. Jim has been involved with a variety of organizations including CRISTA Ministries, Partners International, Medical Teams International, CRU, Operation Christmas Child and Compassion International. Aside from his B.A. and Masters degrees, Jim is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Marriage and Family Therapy.