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I have a problem with the saying "You can not be your kids' friends"

i think its cruel... i understand you have to be a parent but why the hell cant you be a parent and a friend at the same time???
my mom and dad have been my best friends since i could remember and i still went through my rebellious stage as a kid but i think compared to a lot of kids at that stage i was an easy kid to deal with because every time i saw i broke my parents' heart or hurt them bt doing things they didnt approve of it hurt me so i did things they asked of me not only out of respect but because they were my parents as well and i knew i would still get punished on top of having to watch me break my parents'/freind's hearts...
i just think its cruel and cold hearted to not be your kid's friend.. i mean if my parents were to "not be my friend" when i was staying with them and they were raising me i would have been one depressed little girl... what is so wrong about being your kid's friend? i think its kinda neglectful

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Asked by armymum1013 at 11:03 PM on Sep. 21, 2009 in General Parenting

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Answers (14)
  • I don't think that it's cruel, I think that it is more how you take it.....generally I think that you SHOULD be your child's friend, but there are parents out there that take it to the extreme. Never saying no, never being responsible for your child's actions and never holding them to higher expectations, because you don't want to hurt the child's feelings...I think that if you can balance both being a disciplinarian and a friend, you can have the best of both worlds. I am my child's friend, but I am also a teacher, a authority figure and I have great expectations for them.

    Answer by MamaRoberts at 11:11 PM on Sep. 21, 2009

  • I think what it means is that there is a time to be a parent and a time to be a friend. It's good to have an easy relationship with your kids where you can open up to each other. But when they want to get drunk, don't be the mom there getting drunk with them. I guess how I interpret it is you're supposed to be their good friend. Not their bad influence friend.

    Answer by r_elizabeth2290 at 11:15 PM on Sep. 21, 2009

  • I agree. My parents have always been my best friends, but they've also always been amazing parents. The fact that they've always treated me like a friend has well has always made me feel very safe trusting them with anything, coming to them with any problem, and I've had a ton of fun with them. If they hadn't acted like my friends, I think I would have ended up in a lot more trouble when I was younger in a variety of ways. Sure, they've told me "no", disciplined me, etc., but they never made me feel afraid to come to them with any problem. Consequently, I avoided getting into a lot of the problems my friends did when they were younger. I plan on being the exact same kind of parent that they are...if I can ever come close...they truly are amazing.

    Answer by StefanieN84 at 11:15 PM on Sep. 21, 2009

  • There is an order here that some people get mixed up. You should always be a parent 1st. Yes a parent should I guess also be considered a friend to their kids, but that friend role should never take priority over being a parent. Unfortunately there are many people out there who would rather look cool and "fit in" with their kids than parent and discipline them, so they decided to be their kid's friend rather than their parent. That's when its wrong. But other than that I see nothing wrong with being a friend to your child as well as a mom or dad.

    Answer by Ash9724 at 11:17 PM on Sep. 21, 2009

  • Parents LOVE their children while they are being parents. They are parenting and not being friends. Friends are fun but they don't teach you how to be a good responsible human being. You can be friends with your kids when they are adults and living on their own,married,with kids. But not when your kids are living at home. Parents have to be in charge and give their kids rules and expectations.

    Answer by Lindalu2 at 11:33 PM on Sep. 21, 2009

  • lindlu i fully respect your opinion and parenting style :-) i just think that a friend isnt always about fun and games its more of feeling comfortable with your parents as well. im not saying my parents werent an authoritarian or what ever you wanna call that its just that i was a different kind of kid and i didnt have many friends so me and my dad would go watch nascar together or me and mom would go out to lunch once in a great while during my lunch hour at school or we'd go get our hairs done and go to the mall and things like that you know? when ever i got my heart broken by a boy the first person i ran to was my daddy because i felt like the only person who understood me where my parents THATS what im talking about the feeling of being able to go to your parents no matter what.. if you dont show your a friend as well they will never feel comfortable enough to go to you when they need you like that you know?

    Answer by armymum1013 at 11:51 PM on Sep. 21, 2009

  • I think the problem comes when parents are more worried about making their children LIKE them and think of them as friends than being parents. If they tell their 14 year old daughter she cannot go out because she is too young, she wont like them as much... that's when being a friend is getting in the way of parenting.

    Answer by auroura at 11:51 PM on Sep. 21, 2009

  • you guys have a lot of different ideas and parenting styles! i really like seeing them ive only really known my parents' parenting style and im about to be a new mommy so this is actually nice seeing others' views. my parents let me do a lot of things kids my age wouldnt have been aloud to like dye my hair when i was 10 or spend the night at my friends when i was 11 i even went through the tomboy stage where i would only wear boy clothes for a few years! and that weird gothicy stage too i know bizarre huh? lol but my parents let me make my own decisions as long as it didnt endanger me or anyone else because they believed in me learning my own life lessons through my own mistakes and experiences and when i fell down they were there to comfort me

    Answer by armymum1013 at 11:58 PM on Sep. 21, 2009

  • To me, a friend is (or should be) one of your peers. If you tell your child that it's ok to be friends with adults, you don't set up any kind of appropriateness scale for where they can shop for peers.

    I read in the cub scout manual just this weekend the perfect scenario to describe why this is bad. They talk about what to tell your kid if a stranger asks them to help look for a lost puppy.

    ADULTS don't ask kids to help with problems.

    The same with parents who use their children as crutches during divorce. It's an inappropriate relationship. That's why we have friends, and friends should be chosen from one's general age group.

    If you're your kid's friend, then I would think it's confusing to them also to switch from "playing with peers" time to "this is my adult to obey" time. Why can't the kid just play with "mom" who's always mom?

    I don't think it's a healthy position to put a kid in.

    Answer by Avarah at 11:59 PM on Sep. 21, 2009

  • You can be both. But when push comes to shove, you're the parent first and foremost.

    Answer by fluud7 at 4:32 AM on Sep. 22, 2009

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