My wife and I agree that some of our best friends in the world are our kids. But I believe one reason we’re so close is because we weren’t their friends when they were younger.
We can either be our kid’s parents or we can be their friends. They can find scores of friends but of the 7 billion people on earth, you’re one of only two who is their parent. They desperately need you to be their parent.
“Why can’t I be my kid’s friend and parent?”
Here are three reasons.
1. You’re responsible for your child’s well-being – spiritually, emotionally, physically, in all areas. You don’t carry that responsibility for a friend.
It’s not your job to step in every time a friend makes a poor choice. It’s not your job to make sure your friends eat right, do their work or learn to be kind, compassionate and loving. Friends don’t micro-manage friends like that.
But as a parent it’s not only your right, it is your responsibility under God to guide and direct your children – to train them up in the way they should go. You cannot do that as a buddy.2. If a friend consistently behaves like a jerk you can cut them out of your life and find better friends. You can’t do that with your kids.
You’re stuck with the ones you have. So you better make sure they become the kind of people you (and others) can enjoy being around – considerate, mannered, pleasant.
3. You’re responsible for protecting your children, even if the main one you’re protecting them from is themselves.
You can offer advice to a friend but they have every right to take it or leave it. With your children it’s your responsibility to not only set down the rules (versus suggestions) but to make sure they follow the rules – with a pleasant attitude.
You can’t afford to fear loss of their favor or friendship because you made them do what was best for them.
A healthy home is filled with laughter.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you can’t have lots of fun, lots of laughs and play together. A healthy home is filled with laughter and joy but there also needs to be a line of respect that separates you from your children and their friends.
They don’t need you to be their buddy, their peer or an equal. They need you to be the one in charge that looks out for them.
It’s as simple as this. You’re the one who carries the responsibility – for feeding, clothing, protecting, providing. You’re the one who will stand before God and give account for these children. So you are the one who makes and enforces the rules.
“Because I’m the Mom. Because I’m the Dad. And because I love you. That’s why!”
Every one of you shall reverence his mother and his father, …
Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.