Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Should a Parent be a friend to their Child?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by MAJOR METAL, May 23, 2005.


  1. MAJOR METAL

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    I have met alot of men and women in their 30's and 40's lately that have expressed the need for their Parent to also be a Friend to them and inturn they are trying to live this parent friend relationship with their own children with mixed results.Whats your take on it, should parents be friends to their children?.
     
  2. Parent & essentially (life) teacher first and foremost, then friend.

    I try to be the best of both, with the emphasis on parent. I'm still learning here...I'm only 10 years in, and really, I get a new test every day, practically.
     
  3. mwm70

    mwm70

    Oct 27, 2004
    Baltimore
    You can be their friend after you raise them properly.
     
  4. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    When I first met my wife, I tried to be buddies with her two kids. I thought I was doing the right thing. There were some respect issues as soon as my wife and I got married. I realized I had to be more of a father who cared about them, than their buddy. It was a real tough time for me since the kids just figured me for this grown up dude who liked to hang out with them, not their step-father. I realize that being a step-parent has its own set of complications, but me acting like their friend did not help.

    It took some time to correct the problems I caused. They were young enough at the time, so it was easier.

    -Mike
     
  5. I recommend being a friendly parent. In other words, you need to play the parent role, but you also need to adopt the child mindset during play and other appropriate times. When it's time to play, PLAY WITH THEM! Act goofy, take off the parent hat for a while, and be a kid again. It's good for both of you.
     
  6. +1

    It's nice to be buddies, but children need structure and discipline otherwise they have no direction. I have kids in the house from 22yrs old down to 5yrs old and each one needs to be treated a little differently. We've had problems before, but as long as they know that ultimately you're behind them no matter what, there's going to be some sense of loyalty from them that makes it easier. That doesn't mean you give in to every request they have....

    Of course, having a parent that plays the bass can be cool sometimes :D

    Just my 2cents...
     
  7. cgworkman

    cgworkman

    May 14, 2004
    Ohio
    I'm a parent of two boys and I do believe that there's no reason why you can't be both. I believe both are equally important.

    There are some parents that try so hard to do one or the other. To much the parent, yet no friendship. Or vise versa.
     
  8. My mother is my parent, not my friend. her and i do not get along whatsoever(we never had), but i turned out fine. My father and i on the other hand get along well and fine, and he is more like a friend. I think they balanced each other out.
     
  9. i think that this situation is a little like choosing a bass...
    While it gives no real answer to the question...

    You just gotta do what works for you and your family. :)
     
  10. I think the most important issue in child raising is respect. Sometimes its easier to be a friend to your child so that you avoid all the difficult things like discipline.

    Sure, be a friend to your kids, but they need to understand that when they cross the line, you are to be respected and your decisions are final. As children grow, they gain an increased awareness of their individuality, and they will test the boundaries to see what they can get away with.

    It is my belief that humans (mostly) have an inherent understanding of right and wrong. Some of it is learned, but I think that children realise when they are behaving badly. If they are allowed to get away with it, it changes the power relationship within families.
     
  11. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    Excellent post. I don't know if you're a parent yet, but your kid is going to be very lucky. My mother is a grade 1 teacher, and I know that in her opinion, our society is in a vast drought of parents like you.

    It's a fine line to walk -- I just hope I'm up to the task of it when I've got kids of my own.
     
  12. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    If watching "The supernanny" and watching my friends raise their children has has taught me anything, it's that being a "friend" is something to worry about once the child has been taught right from wrong, manners, and respect. I can't believe how many parents don't discipline their kids when they misbahave. In trying to be friends with their young child they are ultimately setting themselves and their kids up for some very traumatic times.

    And I'm sorry if this offends but there's something a little bit odd about a kids who's only friend is their mum or dad. As much as we like to think our kids are our best friends, the fact is thay won't be, especially as they get older.
     
  13. MAJOR METAL

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    I dont think it is developmentaly healthy for a child to be in that situation.
     
  14. bmc

    bmc

    Nov 15, 2003
    Switzerland
    This is a confusing thread to respond to. I am a parent to my kids. I'm not their friend. I never will be. As long as I'm alive, I will be their father.

    I love them very much, but I play a role in their lives as a guide. They have been raised by my wife and I to understand consequences of decisions. We're not tough-as-nails parents. In fact we see our role as guiding them to being independent individuals with good coping skills.

    I love spending time with my daughters. The three of us share in the passion of music. Mom's not into Green Day, Muse, Thursday, etc. They're 15 and 17 and I'm usually the first person they ask when a concert listing comes along. We travel together. Stay up late together. I bring them to gigs. We run out the door at midnight to head downtown for a shawarma. We have fun. But I'm not their friend. I'm their dad.

    We give our kids a lot of room to grow. My eldest will be flying to Tanzania for two weeks. My youngest heads back to Canada for the summer. Both of them on their own. They can handle it, and we trust them. Completely.

    Friends are for sharing secrets with, for bad mouthing your parents for being dinosaurs and not giving in to everything. We don't have that role and don't want that role. We love each other very much and enjoy and value our time together, whether standing in the front row of a Green Day concert, or skiing the Alps, or skoffing down cheese fondue.
     
  15. MAJOR METAL

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sounds like you have a great balance in parenting, congrats to you and your wife. :)
     
  16. Fortunately, growing up, I always had a great relationship with both my parents, and still do. I was able to talk to them about anything, which I think is a great thing to have, especially during high school. My wife grew up the same way, and we're going to try our hardest to have the same relationship with our kids.
     
  17. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    This is one of the big things about how our society has changed for the worse - so I see this so often in the local park and other public places - parents who have absolutely no control of their children because they don't want to or can't be bothered to discipline them...:meh:

    So of course the kids run riot and "push their boundaries", as far as they can, which usually leads to confrontations with others!

    These are the same sort of people who then go on reality TV shows and whine about how they didn't want to be a "bad parent" ...cry a lot, learn some basic techniques that they could have read in any number of books and rave about how their life has been changed!! :rollno:
     
  18. bmc

    bmc

    Nov 15, 2003
    Switzerland
    Thanks. I hope we do. The truly horrible part of being a parent is that regardless of how good a job you think you're doing, your kids will always have issues with you. :D

    And I hope that someday they have kids if only for the ability to understand your parents and be less hard on them for the way they brought you up.

    We keep waiting for our girls to turn into monsters, to come home looking goth, etc. It just isn't happening. They're just two solid both feet on the ground people. And they're tapped into the Geneva music scene and learning the ropes of pro playing from all my friends that I hang out with. It'll be interesting to see where they end up with their music.
     
  19. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    It's all about striking a balance, which at times can be hard to maintain. If you become too much of a friend to your kids, then you do not want to discipline them for fear they won't like you anymore. The other end of the spectrum are parents who try to be dictators in the home constantly reminding their children that they are boss, and everything they say is to be obeyed regardless. I have found it to be rather easy to keep the balance now that I have a few years under my belt of being a dad. I can look back now and see how bad things could have been if I had not changed my ways.

    From what I can tell, it is also really about the emotional maturity of the parent. The parent must be mature, and comfortable knowing that the children are going to be mad at you sometimes. If the parent is constantly desiring the approval of their children, or upset when they children don't like them, then there will be problems. I would really love it if my children thought I was the coolest dad in the world all the time. I also understand that this is not possible. I am prepared to accept the fact that my kids will not think I am cool all the time. What I want most is for them to thank me when they are grown adults with their own children.

    -Mike