This kind of says it all, but too many parents these days seem to think it’s okay to chum around with their kids and not perform their actual duties, and then wonder why their kids won’t listen to them. When your children are more apt to listen to their friends for advice than their parents it typically means that you have failed or faltered somehow in your parental duties and need to take a step back.
You’re not their friend. You can be friendly to your children, there’s nothing that says you need to be otherwise, but being their parent has to come first and foremost. They’ll grow up to have at least a few friends in their lives if you give them the chance, but their best friend is the one that will act as their parent first and their friend much later on down the line.
The belief that you can be friends with your children is not entirely false, but it must come after they realize that you are the parent first, the authority and guidance in their lives that is there to keep them safe, to teach them, and to help them understand that, as a parent, you will do whatever is necessary to raise them, no matter if it means that they will hate you for it initially.
They don’t know what it’s like to have kids yet, they don’t understand the sacrifice that comes with it, the pain that comes upon watching your child be hurt, or suffer in any way, and therefore cannot fully understand why you gladly stand in the way of the world at times to keep them from harm’s way. Children want to experience things as much as they can, they want their parents to simply be their friends and let them do what they want, and unfortunately for them, this is not good parenting.
One doesn’t need to hover over their children all the time, and they certainly don’t need to be best buddies with them before being the parent. Some kids are easy when it comes to instilling discipline, some are much more difficult. Some kids want you to be fair in their favor, others somehow come to understand that things work better when their parents are parents first and the fun friends later. No matter how it works however, the parents have to be the guardians, guides, disciplinarians, teachers, etc. first, and the friends a very distant second.