It sure seems like fathers have a bad rap! We are either too tough on our children or else we are their best friend! Many men today don’t have the guts to be a father, so they become their child’s best friend. The next mistake dads make is when you as a parent try to…
4. Be Your Child’s Best Friend.
“Discipline your children while there is hope. Otherwise you will ruin their lives.” Proverbs 19:18 (NLT)
How many of you “discipline” your best friends?
H. Jackson Brown, the author of the best-selling “Life’s Little Instruction Book,” wrote another little book based in large part on the wise teachings of his own father. One of the quotations from his father goes like this: “Fathers are pals nowadays because they don’t have the guts to be fathers.” (p. 95)
I like that quote not only because it highlights the tough job of parenting but also because of its insight. It’s good insight because it jives with the wisdom God gave Solomon. Solomon was like every other parent. He wanted his children to love him. But he knew that his love for his children meant that sometimes he had to man the unpleasant role of disciplinarian and not best friend. The Bible is not saying it’s not okay to be friends with your kids. But they need you to step up and be something more.
My Biology Teacher
What happens when a parent tries to be their child’s best friend? It’s like a teacher that tries to get everyone to love them. My tenth grade biology teacher, was a great person – charming, friendly, smart. But our class was always in chaos because she tried to be everyone’s best friend instead of being the person in charge. In a healthy family, somebody is always in charge.
When parents and children have a weak boundary between them the result is chaos. Going to the other extreme of having a very rigid boundary between them is no better. Neither one of them is healthy. Children need to feel the safety of boundaries as well as the love of their parents in order to grow up emotionally healthy.
It may “feel” good for a parent to be their child’s best friend but it harms the child. If they get mad at your decisions you won’t break. It’s normal for people to be disappointed when we say “No.” Parents have to say “No” sometimes.
Children need to learn sooner rather than later that life isn’t full of “Yes’.” Build your child’s self-esteem without making them think they’re the center of the universe. They’re not.
Children need structure from parents, not best friends. Which leads to the next worst mistake parents make… Failing to give them structure.
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This Series (The Perfect Dad – The 7 Worst Things Fathers Do)
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