Wait till your father gets home

"Wait till your father gets home" is a common phrase said by mothers to their misbehaving children, telling them that punishment will (or might) be in store for them after their father has returned from work and has learned about the offense they have done.

The phrase reflects the common parenting approach that while the mother will deal with minor infractions and on-the-spot punishments, major punishments are to be decided upon, and potentially to be administered, by the father as the head of household. (See also traditional society.) Less commonly it can be use to to postpone the verdict so that both parents can be included in the decision.

In some cases, the phrase meant real trouble and the boy or girl would literally be made to wait for the return of the father, such as by being grounded to their room, awaiting their doom. In other cases, "just wait till your father gets home..." would be said in a nonserious or ironic sense and the child would know it actually meant nothing to worry about.


Fathers, while not generally opposed to having authority in the household, have often expressed unhappiness about being given the role of the dreaded "punisher figure". Not unfrequently, the father would actually decide for a milder or none punishment, to the relief of the child, and possibly to the dissatisfaction of the mother.

The phrase "wait till your father gets home" can also be seen as expressing the mother's inability or unwillingness to deal with discipline problems herself. She delegates the difficult and unpleasant task of exercising parental authority to her husband.

Animated TV seriesEdit

Wait Till Your Father Gets Home is also the title of an American animated television sitcom in 49 episodes, originally aired from 1972 to 1974.

See alsoEdit