We have all heard once or twice parents saying their children are their best friends. While this may seem like a good thing, some experts argue this is not the best way to raise your children. Until the recent past, the role of parents was to provide. This often meant that the children missed out on emotional bonding with their parents.
Parents decided to put measures in place to be friends with their children. Doing this has proven to help parents know their children better and children open up more when they have issues. But even with parents striving to be friends with their children, there is the risk of some parents overcompensating in the friendship area.
Such a relationship undermines the parent's authority. Here are some of the few reasons why being your child's best friend may not be good for them.
You need to be an authority in the relationship
By making your child your best friend, you are saying they are on the same pedestal as you, which undermines your authority. At a young age, children need structure and discipline and this is not how a best friend relationship works. It will be hard for your child to understand why their best friend is giving them rules and regulations. Your child will grow and develop better if you act as an authority rather than as an equal.
As much as they might not know it, your children need the boundaries set. The most important role for you as their parents is to ensure that they explore the world within the required confines. A best friend is not in a position to set these rules as they are seen as equals.
You need to draw boundaries
There is a difference between a relationship between a child and an adult and peer relationships. Having your child as your best friend will blur lines between what you two can share and what you cannot.
Being open with your child is a good thing and recommended but if you are not careful, you may end up oversharing and have them hearing things that are beyond their comprehension. It will also be a point of conflict for you when you need someone to confide in when this is both your child and your confidant.
It will be too much pressure on your child if you as a parent are confiding in them. Studies have also shown that a child who is treated as an equal in the family with no boundaries enforced often ends up being stressed.
Conflict can ruin the parent child relationship
Friendships have some disagreements that can taint the parent-child relations you are trying to build. It will be hard for your child to distinguish between the two relationships in a healthy way. Such responsibility should not be left to the child.
While it is normal to see children call their parents their best friends, it is different when it's the parent calling their children that. Your child needs you more as a guide as they navigate through life than as someone who is happy-go-lucky all the time. Work on being friends with your children but have best friends your age you can confide in.