There's the ongoing debate about whether the Captain/FO model or the Oldest Teenager in the House model is appropriate. The fact is, it's probably both. Sometimes as a good leader you need to recognize which situation you’re dealing with and act accordingly.
Friday night we took the whole family to the local little league park to watch one of my oldest boys friends playoff game. My boy is on another team and is a particularly good ball player who a lot of other kids look up to. My boy’s friend had a bad call go against him, and instead of telling him tough break, my son pulled a dick move and said something smarmy. My wife is particularly sensitive about this and she flipped her shit on him, couple the fact that it sounded even worse because he is a good ball player. She made her point to him and let him know he’d be in trouble about it when he got home. He quickly tried to back track what he said, and made somewhat of an amends to his friend there and then. On the drive home they started to get into it again in and I calmly told them “Ok, let’s take this offline and not in front of the other kids”
My oldest knew he was wrong. In fact I’m pretty sure he was deeply ashamed for what he said. Hence the reason he was trying to back track it so bad. We got the younger kids to bed and he still insisted on trying to talk his way out of it. It ended up in a yelling match between him and his mom. I stood up, calm and cool, told him to get into the shower and then right to bed, I’d deal with him in his room.
I told her “Ok, take a break everyone is a little tense. We’ll deal with this in the morning.”
She started getting even angrier; I maintained even tone and calmly said “you need to shut up. You’re being a crazy bitch.” This shocked her. The look on her face was priceless. Her hamster started to rev the wheel up to full speed.
She tried to put it back on me “Oh so you don’t think he did anything wrong?”
“I never said that, you’re being crazy right now though.”
Her, “So I’m wrong in this?”
“No, but you’re being crazy right now. That’s wrong.”
“Oh so you can act crazy sometimes and I can’t?”
Me, “If I am, you have every right to say something.”
“Take a couple minutes and calm down. When you can talk we’ll pick it up from there.” And I walked away. I went and put the boy to bed, talked about why his mom was so mad at him (while reinforcing that her feelings were hers to deal with and how a bro can’t kick another bro when he’s down).
When I was all done she came to me, “I’m sorry for being bitchy”, head down, full on doe eyes. I said “ok, let’s talk about how we do this better next time”
I held frame, never let her arguments distract me about her bad behavior and isolated her when her behavior was intolerable. We straightened out everything and even finished the night with some sexy times. By holding frame, it really was like a scene from the movies. I could see each bullet zinging at me in slow motion, and step out of the way harmlessly. By recognizing where I was I applied the response that was appropriate, punish the bad behaving teenager, and lead the first officer who seeks advice from her captain. In the end, everyone was better for it.