The misguided American and even Christian evangelical approach is this:
Dad - Leave the house every morning to go earn money. Come home and be left alone. Golf on the weekend.
Mom - Get kids off to school in the morning. Clean and do laundry. Make breakfast, lunch and dinner. Shop for food. Help kids with homework. Be available to your husband.
Kids - Manipulate and argue with mom. Fear dad.
Family - Go to church on Sunday. Send a check to tax deductible charity organizations. Enjoy two weeks paid vacation every year.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
Now... I'm not condemning this routine. I would like to point out that this has not always been the cycle. Nor is this "way" optimal.
Before the industrial revolution (1750 to 1850) both parents usually worked together and raised the children together. If the father was a baker the mother was his assistant or vice/versa. If they owned a store they both worked there and lived upstairs.
The industrial revolution really broke the back of the traditional family and caused a change that resulted in resentment in the parents and disconnection in the children.
Husband - Angry/stressed that ALL THE MONEY MAKING is done by him. It's all on his shoulders.
Mom - Angry/stressed that ALL THE CHILD CARE IS ON HER SHOULDERS.
He has trouble appreciating her work at home while she has trouble appreciating his work outside the home (because neither is dying to themselves daily and forgoing their needed for glory while showering the other with charitable appreciation).
Kids - Disconnected from their father since he leaves home and works 8-12 hour days. Frustrated with their mother for her obvious anger/lack of satisfaction/lack of recognition by the father - which comes through in her manner of care (everything from words to body language).
Paul is reminding us that (even in todays world) fathers have a job to do when it comes to child rearing. Mothers need to understand that and allow fathers to be involved and not have an attitude of "Hey, I've got this. You just go to work and make money". Fathers need to be gentle, as Paul says, and understand that mothers may be territorial with this area. Both need to focus on Glorifying God through their children WITHOUT using them as ambassadors for their family. They ARE NOT YOUR AMBASSADORS - they are children. This also applies to adult children.
And fathers (moms too) DO NOT hit them over the head with HONOR THY MOTHER AND FATHER. It doesn't mean what most of you think.
The 10 commandments are ABSOLUTE. They can never be violated. A whole civilization could be built upon them. So there can be no ambiguities. God does not glorify the parental role AT THE EXPENSE of the child.
HONOR THY MOTHER AND FATHER doesn't mean:
*Love your mother and father. Some parents are evil and unloveable.
*Obey your mother and father. What if they demanded that you deny the Christian faith and became an agnostic?
In Ephesians 6:1 The word used for children is YOUNGSTERS/KIDS - not adult children.
*Remain under their authority. Some parents are very unstable and to remain under their authority would be destructive to the child and subsequent generations.
The commandment says "HONOR THY MOTHER AND FATHER". Which means to treat them with respect and show them long term loyalty toward their well being.
Raise your children with this in mind SO THAT YOU CREATE IN THEM the ability to HONOR THY MOTHER AND FATHER.