There has been many people talking about being your kids best friend. This is a personal view of mine (E.a. Maynard), but family should be something stronger than friends are. I do understand that some friends are very close to you and important at a younger age. For young families, friends might be very involved in your life.

The problem I find with the statement people have with being your kids friends is, friends come and go. Friends don’t have to set an example and teach you values. In my life time, I had not had a friend wash my mouth out with soap because I said a curse. I also never had a friend ground me for breaking the rules or a number other stupid things.

In life, friends are important and they will be in your life for as long as they should. There are few friends you may know for your entire life. Family on the other hand should be building bonds that last for a lifetime and memories that last past that.

Before I dive into explaining my argument for parents not focusing on being their kids friends, let me give a disclaimer. I know some family are not good to be around. My family that share my last name treated me horrible growing up and my biological father made it seem that everything was higher on his list than I was. There are more examples I could give, but I will just stop with my personal example. It could also be said if your family is abusive or toxic, then not having them around is understandable.

Let me start with saying that I have one friend that is like a brother to me and had another that was like a brother. The first friend I had know since I was was a very young child. The other one I meet as an adult. The life long friend I talk to every few months while the other friend got upset and disappeared.

When it comes to everyone I have spoken with or have known personally, they talk about how they spend less time with friends and more time with family. This also depends on the stage of life you and your kids are in. If your kids are adults and you are a parent of an adult, then be their friend. I can say that my mom is my closest friend, excluding my wife. My mom also whooped me and put me in my place when I needed as I was growing up.

First, what is a friend? A friend per Oxford English Dictionary is “A person with whom one has developed a close and informal relationship of mutual trust and intimacy; (more generally) a close acquaintance. Often with adjective indicating the closeness of the relationship, as best, good, close, etc. Cf.”

Now a parent is described as “A person who is one of the progenitors of a child; a father or mother. Also, in extended use: a woman or man who takes on parental responsibilities…” Just from these two definitions don’t show the difference between a friend and parent, I am happy to go into more detail.

Here is my argument. If you are focused on being your kids friend, then what will you do when you have to enforce a rule. Will you stand up to your child when they want to do something dangerous? I can go on with questions, but hopefully you are able to see where I am going.

As I did some reading to get others opinions on this topic, the most common reason people gave was that they believed kids will be more independent. This seems like a far reaching argument.

There are things that kids should learn from their parents. One thing a kid should learn is that someone who loves you will also stop you from doing bad things. Also when it comes to family, there is a bond or a connection that is only able to be shared with a family. Building that bond comes with respect, boundaries, and love.

If you do choose to go with the route of raising your kid with more of a focus of being their friend; let me ask a question. When they learn that friends come and go; how will you feel when they pull away.

I would like to propose an option. How about we be parents that love our kids and do what is best for them. Make happy memories while also being willing to be the stopping force. There are few people who have never felt pain or got upset in life. You can’t shelter your kid from that, but teach them that with pain there can also be joy after.

We need strong, smart, and bonded families. The power of love from your kids will give you can be great. The pain you might feel when they are upset can be hard on you too. Remember, when you decided to bring a kid into the world, you decided to do what will make that child the best version of him or her possible.