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January 14, 2015

The Friendly Parent

“Parents shouldn’t be our friends, but sometimes it wouldn’t hurt if they were a little more friendly.” (Anonymous Teenager)

People seem to love extremes. We tend to think in either/or terms in most situations because it feels neat and clean. Once you’ve moved into an extreme position, it becomes easier to justify your perspective while vilifying the other. Both of these things make you feel better about staying within your comfort zone.

One problem: parenting isn’t about comfort; parenting is about growth — both your child’s and your own.

It’s possible to be a parent with authority while also being a pleasant and warm person. You can be loving and kind and still enforce boundaries and consequences. It won’t be easy to do. You might not receive any warm fuzzies from your kids, but you will end up creating something far more lasting: a mutually respectful relationship.

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