When you become a parent everything changes, and we’re not just talking about your sleep schedule (or lack of) or your free time (as in, you now have none). Your role in the family changes too. Suddenly you become a protector, a teacher, a role model and a disciplinarian. But just because you are raising a child doesn’t mean you have to be the bad guy all the time. Sure, parents must put the best interests of their kids first, which often means setting limits. But you can also be your child’s friend, confidant and partner-in-crime. It IS possible to be your kid’s best friend, you just have to know where to start.
Think about it…if your kids don’t just love you, but they actually like you, they will respect you. It’s all about walking the line between being a person they can relate to (like a friend) and being a person they listen to (like a parent). You need to let your kids know that you will be there no matter what they choose, but also offer guidance so they make smart choices. This style of parenting is known as authoritative parenting. According to psychology expert, Kendra Cherry, parents who use this form of parenting “Are responsive to their children and willing to listen to questions. When children fail to meet the expectations, these parents are more nurturing and forgiving rather than punishing.” So how do you achieve this blissful state where you are both a parent and a friend and everyone involved is happy? Here are 15 tips on merging friendship with parenting skills to get you started.
1. Establish trust.
When it comes to parenting advice, trust is essential. If you can’t trust your kids (and they can’t trust you) then you will all be constantly worry that someone is up to no good. You need to not only trust that your kids can stand on their own two feet, but also trust that you raised them with the tools they need to do it.