We did some research and found 3 answers from experts in family life. After reading this post, what would be your answer? Do you agree with any of these opinions? Leave a comment at the end of this post to enrich this interesting topic!
From an article titled Parent or Friend? The Unhealthy Blurring of Roles, published in The American Psychological Association website by Dr. Angela Londoño-McConnell
"Disciplining children is a fundamental factor in determining the ease in which a household operates. Children and teens have always ‘tested the waters’ to see how far they can get. However, it seems that today, parents are simply unwilling to say ‘no.’ Some adults appear quite eager to be their child’s best friend which can lead to a role reversal in the family and loss of authority by the parent. Rather than taking steps to always be liked, it is essential that parents take steps to be respected. This will lead to a healthier relationship with your child(ren) by which everyday activities can be resolved with less confusion and chaos, and where children feel protected by your parenting and guidance."
From Mr. Jacob, "Jake", Kliatchko, Master of Industrial Relations (University of the Philippines), author of: A Handbook on Family Life, published by Alliance for the Family Foundation Philippines. Father of six.
I have been asked this question many times. What is the best way to bring up your children? My answer is always to bring them up as friends!
Parents, your relationship with your children should be based on friendship. The parents should be the best friends of their children. This friendship, in order to exist and permeate within the family, must be initiated by the parents. Parents should promote activities which lead to this friendship.
Once friendship is established between parents and children, there will be trust and confidence. Trust and Confidence takes place only when friendship is developed. Parental authority should be exercised with affection springing from the relationship. There should be no barrier between them. Children will confide everything to their parents and will open up their hearts to them. Communication will flow freely between parents and children.
The parents will be the first ones to know what is happening to their children. Whatever plans or even problems they might have at any given time. Things which children often hide, will not be hidden anymore. They will be happy to share any information with their parents, instead of seeking advice from other people. This is because they see their parents as friends.
For friendship to steadily grow and for trust and confidence to deepen, parents should take time out to be with their children together like real friends do. Friends naturally want to be together most of the time. The boys with the father, and the girls with the mother and at times, all of them together with Mom and Dad!
They should have those moments for more intimate one on one conversation. Parents would be surprised how much more OPEN their children would be. There would be a lot more to say, which otherwise would not have been revealed, if the opportunity was not provided to them.
From Iraida Bethencourt, Child # 5 in a family of 9 kids.
As a 16 year old daughter, the sixth of a family of nine, I think that parents can find a way to be able to have a balance between being a best friend and a parent with authority. As a teenager, I would not want to go home to a parent who just tells me what to do, what not to do and how to do it. But I would not like it either if I went home and my parents, afraid of being just a person who tells me what or what not to do, didn't set any restrictions at all to make me ‘happy’ and ‘like’ them.
I think parents can both hold a relationship with their children as best friends, by asking them how they are, being able to talk to them about things aside of school, grades and teachers. Also, many teenagers are afraid to talk to their parents about something bad they did or a mistake they made, because they feel like their parents reaction will just be to yell at them and get in trouble. I am sure parents can find a way of listening to their children, giving them advice and still finding a nice way to let them know that it better not happen again.Treating them like responsible people and not wild kids also helps a teenager feel more comfortable with themselves. And at the same time, whenever authority is needed, it is given. And, since you already have a relationship with you child, they will be able to respect that decision even more, instead of just being rebellious toward you.
This is all possible because I’m proud to say that there has been times when I have canceled plans with my friends to hang out with my mom and my dad instead. I am able to tell my parents anything and talk to them about things I wouldn't even tell my friends. At the same time, I respect their authority. I would not like my parents to just be my friends or just my authority. I need a best friend with authority, and those are my parents.
What do you think?