It is your job as a parent to teach your children the facts of life—good or bad—so that they can make their own good decisions in the real world. It is simply not fair to expect children to be able to make decisions that negatively affect their lives when they are not prepared to make those decisions. You have a pretty good idea of what is best for your children, and certainly a better idea than they do. It is your responsibility as the adult to pass the love and knowledge you have experienced in your own life to your children to give them the best opportunity to lead a successful life.
The principles you instill at a young age will follow your children throughout life. When they are little you make them brush their teeth, eat their vegetables and clean their rooms, not only because you know that these things are good for them, but also because you want them to one day learn to do them without being told. There are many times in life when we have to do things we do not want to do, and by not sugarcoating this idea when your children are young, they will be more accepting of it as they grow and mature into adults.
Never saying no doesn’t build friendship with your children. It may content them in the moment, but in the long run it will only make them selfish and rude. Never using the word no gives your child a handicap that will make it harder for him or her to succeed in life. No one will want to befriend, date, hire or live with a selfish person.
Playing the role of disciplinarian may not seem like a way to bond with your children, but once they grow past the stage when you are responsible for making their decisions, friendship can grow. They will respect you for making the good decisions for them that they were not able to make on their own. Let their peers be their friends. Their peers certainly are not going to act as parents, so this all-important chore is left to you.
Parenting is a grand struggle between giving to your child and instituting discipline. The balance will be different for everyone, but it is important to keep reevaluating what needs to be done and take steps to reestablish and maintain that balance.
Proud Mama To