Do you want to be a parent or a friend to your young children? Why, you say, can't I be both? Let's talk about this for a few minutes.
In the society, there is a lot of emphasis put on being friends with your children and little on being "THE PARENT". THE PARENT is the authoritarian, the boss, the disciplinarian, the "big cheese". Would you want a friend to be like that?
John Rosemond, in his book,"Making the "Terrible" Twos Terrific", says that a good parent is a "mean parent".
His definition of "mean" is a parent who is assertive, consistant, calm and insistant. They don't scream, yell, bully and are not abusive. They say what they mean and mean what they say.
Effective parenting is setting boundaries that children know they are not to cross. Effective parents will not allow misbehavior nor do they allow 2nd, 3rd and 4th chances. They never reason with a child and there is no counting to ten or any other form of conjoling. The parent will expect obedience the first time they tell their child what they want them to do.
Parents who are effective do not change from day to day. What they did yesterday or last week will be the same today and next week. Because of this, childen learn to trust their parents and find great security in them. Most children will not like what their parents tell them, but they will respect them for what they say.
One of the greatest problems in our public school systems is the breakdown of control and discipline. Teachers and principals are afraid of children and their parents, and for good reason. When I was in school, I knew that I had better not misbehave in class. If I did, and my parents found out, (and they would), I would not only get punished in school, but I would also get punished when I got home! That was great motivation to behave myself! Today, unfortunately, parents have the misconception that they have to stick up for their children, run interference and offer excuses. An effective parent will make their children shoulder the responsibility for their actions and the consequences that follow. If a child misbehaves, the parent allows them to take the punishment they deserve and therefore learn from their mistakes. The parent will also reinforce what the consequences will be if the misbehavior is repeated.
Can you be a "friend" through this process? No, you are the authority figure in your child's life right now. Friendship comes later. Teaching your children to trust, respect and obey you as an authority figure in their lives will create a foundation for a lasting friendship in their adult years.