Friends or Parents? Why a Parenting Friend Zone Is a Parenting Danger Zone by Tanya Kuzmanovic

Opinion Parenting
5 years ago

Friends or Parents? Why a Parenting Friend Zone Is a Parenting Danger Zone

I have an obligation to my kids – to feed, house and love them. As a parent, I also wear the hat of maid, chauffeur, chef and personal shopper … but a friend? This is where I draw the line.

It is up to us as parents to help instruct, guide and nurture our kids, to help them learn how to be a good friend to others and to surround themselves with positive friendships. But there is a sense of power within this role not to be found in a typical friendship. If these particular lessons come from friends, it can breed resentment.

The teen years are when this subtle shift from parent to friend are most likely to occur. Kids test boundaries, put negotiation skills to work and begin to compare their own boring lives to those of their exciting friends. At this point in time, being a friend as opposed to a parent can seem like the easier path. It will mean not having to lay down the law nor hear unkind words directed at you. But is it the right way?

In my own experience, parenting has never meant taking the simple or easy way. Our kids will hopefully have a lifetime filled with many friendships, but if they are lucky, only two parents.

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Elisa Schmitz
Well said, Tanya Kuzmanovic ! You're right, sometimes being a friend is easier than being a parent. It's a tough job, but it has to be done. Thank you for sharing this!

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