I am not saying that we should view our children as nothing more than our subordinates that we boss around all the time. However, in order for our children to develop into responsible adults (that should be every parent’s goal), we have to maintain a decent amount of authority over them. Attempting to be their “best friend” throws all of that out the window.
Yet, we see people do this all of the time. Why is this? Are we that concerned about our child’s self-esteem that we place it above their overall development on the list of parental priorities? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I think that it is great to build up your kid’s self-esteem but it cannot come at that steep of a price. After all, you’re molding something permanent here.
Or, maybe there is something else going on. Maybe we tend to fail at growing up as well. I’m not talking about all of you here but maybe some of you struggle with this. Adulting is just not that fun at times and you need to live through your child a little bit every once in a while to continue to feel alive.
Or, perhaps some people “friend” their children because they (the parent) need that affection. Maybe they feel a little too weak to stand up to their kids and draw boundary lines for them. Trust me, it is to their benefit to do this, even if they act like they hate you (they really don’t) for it.
Shellie Braeuner reminds us that “children need to be able to trust their parents and the boundaries their parents set, so it is vital that parents are consistent when enforcing boundaries”. It is important for us to lay down the rules, declare authority over them and then remain amazingly consistent with those rules.
Debbie Pincus takes this a bit further by stating that “one of our most important jobs as parents is to stay loving and separate from our children. We do this by clearly defining our principles, staying in our role as a parent, and sticking to our bottom lines”.
So, there you have it parents. Be the authority in your house that you child not only needs but honestly desires to have. Draw lines and boundaries for them. Institute rules for them to follow. Be hard on them and do it consistently. Set the example for them to follow. There will come a day, far down the road, where they will thank you for it.
Maybe you are past that point and you don’t know what to do with your child. If that is the case, I encourage you to get help. But, do it today. Don’t wait for tomorrow.
Life is Strange. Live it Well.
Braeuner, S. (n.d.). The Importance of Giving Children Boundaries. Retrieved August 07, 2017, from http://oureverydaylife.com/importance-giving-children-boundaries-10326.html
Pincus, D. (n.d.). How to Set Healthy Boundaries with Your Child. Retrieved August 07, 2017, from https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/parental-roles-how-to-set-healthy-boundaries-with-your-child/