Something that has rattled around in my head for years is the line, "You're the parent, not their friend."
I was just reading a news article and someone was quoted as saying: "Your kids don’t need a 40-year-old friend. They need a parent."
What a tragic dichotomy that one little line sets up!
Every single time that line has ever entered my head, it was leading me in the wrong direction. Every time.
What is a friend? I'm not talking about the schoolmates teenagers go out partying and drinking with. Not talking about the 5-year-old kid your child happens to play with at the park that day. I'm talking about real friendship.
1. a friend: one attached to another by affection or esteem
Knowing what I know now, with my kids grown, I strongly feel that that that one line, which permeates parental consciousnesses, should be quickly and actively contradicted and rooted out like a pernicious weed every single time it sprouts up.
Instead of "You're the parent, not their friend," substitute, "Be the very very best friend to them you can possibly be."
photo by Sandra Dodd