have recently read an article that pointed out the
fallacy of parents who follow the trend of being
"friends" with their children.
According to a recently
released survey, 60 percent of parents admit that they have a
hard time discussing important topics with their teens.
One reason is that parents
are trying to be buddies with their teens and are afraid of
Setting up a parent-child
relationship as a friendship doesn't allow parents to fulfill
their real job which is to be a guide, teacher, role model and
mentor for their children. Parents that befriend their
children claim that this will help them have a better
relationship with their children when they reach their teens.
Though this argument may seem compelling, a parent- child
relationship that mimics a friendship hinders parents from
discussing things that are important with their teenagers.
Some of the discomfort is
on the part of the parent. If they treat their teenager like
they are on the same level as a full grown adult where do they
now come to claim that they are more knowledgeable or educated
than their child? Who are they to speak about serious issues
like peer pressure, bullying, harassment, drugs and alcohol or
moral and religious values when they are on the same level as
also have a problem respecting a parent who always
implied that the two of them are on the same level. All things
being equal, if everyone is on the same level teens feel more
comfortable speaking to their peers - not their parents.
is also the issue of trust. If my parents are my
friends and I am looking for a trusted adult or someone of
authority I will not go to my parents just like I would not go
to a friend. Just as I will be afraid that one friend might
tell another I might not trust my parent who feels they are my
have seen mothers that compete with their daughters
in looks. The competition is subtle but the tension is not.
Many times mothers dress exactly like their daughters blurring
the lines of difference between them. I have seen fathers
compete with their sons in learning or business. Again, it is
nothing overt, but the competition is there.
I sometimes see children following a very negative
trend of calling their parents by their first name. Those who
do this mistakenly think that this shows openness and love. I
hate to break it to them that this shows nothing other than a
lack of respect.
need to be parents. They need to set boundaries.
They need to say no. Even if at first it upsets the child in
the long run this is what children want and will appreciate.
Acting like a parent will bring a certain respect and help a
parent talk to their children about all sorts of difficult
topics that must be discussed even when it isn't comfortable.
It is best when parents act as parents and leave the role of
friend to their child's friend.