5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Be Your Child’s Best Friend

Those who wonder if by being friends with their children, they are giving them the best childhood, please understand that your child needs your guidance more than your friendship!

You are holding your child in your hands for the first time?

She is beautiful. You are amazed how little her hands are, or how divine her eyes look. You are falling in love at the first sight and everything else in the world looks irrelevant. You want to be the best parent. The best that anyone can be! You want to do all the things your parents couldn’t do for you or not do many which they did! All in all, you want to be your child’s best friend..forever!
Sounds heavenly? Doesn’t it? But before you dwell further in this lovely dream, please wake up! And read this tiny article on what’s wrong with this happy picture!
The idea of parents being friends with their children isn’t new. In fact many from our or our earlier generations have tested this theory from time to time. And the results have indicated what you already know by now i.e It is NOT a good idea. Period! However, to take care of any doubt, let’s also understand the definition of a friend here! No, not the Wikipedia or Oxford definition! But your own definition of a friend. Remember or recall a friend you had in your growing up years. Now think of your Mom or Dad in place of that person! Sounds weird? I know it does.

To make it more clear, let me also explain that by not being a friend to your child, you are NOT choosing to NOT being supportive or NOT listening to them when they need you or NOT being there for them. By NOT being their friend you are simply choosing to be an enforcer of rules. You are choosing to teach them consequences of their actions or inactions. By NOT being their friends you are choosing to not be ‘Cool’ but teach rules, boundaries and expectations. By letting them stay up late at night playing game, talking on phone for hours, letting them go for sleepover or have them not be bothered about stupid house chores, you are neither being a good friend nor a good parent. 
Please understand that for some, it may be a childhood ambition or a longing to be friends with their kids but for the children, it is more like a lottery as the only cop in town turns out to be their fellow prankster, they are living the dream!

Now, on paper, it sounds so good, so perfect. But it isn’t. On paper, the parents and the kids are both getting the best out of this friendship. In reality, it is more damaging than it is helping. What may seem like a bridge, is actually a steep ramp to nowhere.



Life works in balance. The right and wrong, the up and down, the truth and lie. Parents and kids.
It is as simple as that. Parents and kids are on the opposite side of this balance. Kids will be kids, they are those little innocent beings driven just by heart and desires, bringing innocence and havoc at the same time. At those times, parents need to be parents even when being friends might seem more lucrative and easy, for there will be no one else who would take care of your child like you would. Be the parent they need, even if it means  NOT to be liked by them temporarily because you set up some boundaries or rules. Creating chaos is their job, maintaining peace is yours.
The fence may keep you out but it sure will keep your kid safe, isn’t that what we all want?

They NEED a strong role model!

The child is confused between your roles of convenience. One minute you are his best friend laughing at his rant against a teacher and the other minute you are telling him to not raise his voice in front of you!

Children need guidance and surety when they mess up or when they are unsure. They need clarity from someone who they respect. They need a strong role model who can tell them between right and wrong. Someone who can give them clear boundaries. We know there are parents who can’t possibly play the part but children do need someone who can teach them respect, conviction, and perseverance, not necessarily the values they’ll get if you are cavalier in your interactions with them because you are supposedly their best friends.


Friendship Is For Equals!

When you declare yourself as a friend to your kid, you are meaning to be their partner in crime. You can’t scold them when they do or say things they are not supposed to because you are sorority now. 
Ideally you can never be equal to your child. You need to lay down rules and enforce discipline. You need to have a last word for when there are arguments. But if you become friends then considering friends have an equal footing, you are losing out on your right to have the last word when they don’t agree with you.
As parents, you are supposed to be their partners in their well being. You need to be the one who sees to their wounds and mistakes, to tend to them and correct them. Being their friends, you are not only losing that authority but are also compromising on some nonnegotiable rules in the guise of a friendship which might prove costly in the long run.

Letting them… Be themselves

Who are we? What makes us what we are?
Now some may say we are limited by our genes or our surroundings, I believe it all comes down to the choices we makes in life that makes us who we are. The choices that are not made for us, but the choices that we make on our own free will.
Being friends to kids could be cruel to the kid. A lot of times such children become too dependent on their parents that they no longer need a peer group or friends. Constant support and attention from parents can cause a lot of future behavioural problems as the child isn’t equipped to deal without that constant admiration, advice or attention. He doesn’t have same age friends as he finds them immature or whatever his parents term them. 
Letting children sort out their issues with their same age friends is important in the long run. It is imperative that they learn to take their own decisions than have a ready made advice. Sometimes it is good to let them fall!

The Other Way Around: Dumping your Dirty Laundry


This definitely holds true for you if you are trying to find a confidant in your child. If you are thirty-five years old please find another thirty, forty or fifty year old for your friendship. Please understand that your ten or twelve-year-old isn’t emotionally capable to be that! 
Now, being friends with your kid may start as a way to lend an ear to their problems but in no time it becomes a two-way street and that is the last thing you want. When you start treating them as equals, there comes a stage where you will start unloading your problems on them, telling them of your day-to-day struggles, and that is not the side you want your kids to see at such a young age. For many kids, their parents are their superheroes and to burden them with such knowledge of hard life and imperfections, you are just pushing them ahead of their age,moreover children may be intellectually mature but emotionally and socially they are never in a place to understand relationships or other complicated aspects of your life. Childhood is not the time to be surrounded by the devious ways of the world, and you should take out your frustrations to someplace else and not use your child for your therapy.

Always remember the first emotion that ran through you when you first held her in your arms, the feeling to protect your child no matter what happens. Being a friend to your kid may feel nice, but not the best thing for his/her own sake. As a parent, the foremost job is to teach your child the rules, the worldly ways, the skills and the ability to take his own decisions and this can only be done by building a boundary to set them on the right path, by being a guide, a mentor, and by being a parent!

Happy parenting!