Mommies of the World: Be the Parent, Not BFFs

You want to be a best parent, not a best friend. With this generation of children, it's important to be an "old school" parent. What does that mean, you ask? Basically, be a tough parent. Learn to say no instead of yes, yes, YES! Parenting is really hard work: it's physically demanding, financially and psychologically, and as a parent all you want is for your child to love and respect you. But that won't happen if you baby your children or be the best friend. They'll grow to like you, but not respect you authoritatively; they'll only see you as their equal.

Here's how you can become a respected parent and not a best friend:

It's OK if Your Kids 'Hate You'

Mother and grandmother Joan Robach, for example, said that she was very disciplined with her kids when they were growing up and wasn't a friend to them. "My kids didn't like me when they were teenagers and that's okay, that's a good sign. If your kids love you and think you're just the coolest mom ever, you're probably making a lot of mistakes," Robach said in an interview with CafeMom (.com).

It will hurt when you hear your children say "I hate you!" Or, "you're the worst mother in the whole world!" But they say that because of their teenage hormones — they never actually mean it. In the long run, they will respect you far more as an adult and will thank you for being hard on them and not the "cool mom."

Show Your Children Discipline and Teach Them Right From Wrong

Ed Young and his wife Lisa, for example, have been married for over 25 years and have had success in raising their children. That's in part because of the role model and parenting by his father, who wrote the book, "The 10 Commandments of Parenting: The Do's and Don'ts for Raising Great Kids." The insight and rules every parent should follow to raise headstrong children (and to be careful not to turn into the best friend).

When I read about the remarkable teachings of Pastor Ed Young I was instantly hooked right in to his parenting tips. Some of the 10 commandments are:

  • Thou Shalt Teach Thy Children
  • Thou Shalt Spend Time With Thy Children
  • Thou Shalt Discipline Thy Children
  • Thou Shalt Encourage Thy Children
  • Thou Shalt Provide Stability and Security for Thy Children
  • Thou Shalt Not Be a Passive Parent

Be the Boss

According to MAD Life, a segment on CafeMom, the happiest kids are products of authoritative parents. Try a little experiment: When you're at the mall or anywhere with parents and children, observe them and see what happens. If the children constantly roll their eyes, talk back to their parents or have no respect, then that parent is a friend to their child — not a parenting model. You can always tell which parents are friends to their kids and which are parents, because the children that have lax rules and "friend" parents just don't show any respect for their parents.

Don't Be Afraid to Be a Tough Parent

Oprah Radio host Rabbi Shmuley says that it's irresponsible to be your child's best friend. According to Shmuley, you should never parent out of fear. Remember, you're the one in charge, and in turn, show them your weak side, they'll disrespect you.

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