Parenting Is Not About Being BFFs
“Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” Proverbs 22:6, NLT
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4, NLT
Did you ever get this look from your parents? Oh, I did. I got it more times than I would care to admit. I can remember thinking to myself, “Oh no! I’m in trouble,” whenever my parents gave me this look. I can also remember times when I would think that my parents just needed to lighten up a little. You know, chill out. Relax. Quit being such tyrants. Don’t tell me you never thought that your parents were kin to Hitler at one point. (I mean no harm here, folks.) I use to think that I had the strictest parents in the
town world! I saw some of my friends’ parents, and I thought they were way cooler than my parents/ I mean, their parents let them do what they wanted to do! These friends could stay out as late as they wanted to. They could smoke and drink if they wanted to. They had no rules! I thought these friends were living the good life. I mean, their parents wanted to be their friend.
Boy was I ever wrong. Of course, I didn’t see the error of my ways until I became a parent of my own. When I became a Mom, I knew right then exactly how much love my parents had (and still have) for me. They weren’t tyrants. They weren’t mean and cruel, and totally out of touch as I thought they were. My parents loved me like crazy! They wanted the best for me. They saw the things in my life that were not good, and they wanted to do their best to help me make the right choices. They gave me rules, not out of control and this “power hungry” drive, but out of the great love for me. They chose to be my parents instead of my best friend, because they cared about me. I had friends I could talk to and cut up with, but I needed my parents to be my parents.
You see, being a parent isn’t about making sure your kids like you all the time. It’s not about making sure your kids get ever materialistic wish that they could ever imagine. It’s not about whether or not you help our kid to be popular in school. It’s not about being your child’s friend. Being a parent is about just that, BEING YOUR CHILD”S PARENT! It’s about loving your kids enough to tell them no. Loving your kids so much that you would rather have them so mad at you, than to see them go down a destructive path. It’s about caring about your child’s well-being enough to step in and set boundaries. It’s about choosing to be your child’s parent and not their friend.
As the new school year begins, I encourage each of us as parents to leave being a friend to our kids to their friends. I encourage each of us to love our kids enough to tell them no. Care enough to set boundaries. Want what is best for your child and do our parts as their parents to see that they do their best in life. Let’s stop trying to make sure that our kids like us all the time, and let’s start showing them how much we love them by being their parents and not their friends.
I know being a parent isn’t always easy. And I know that some days are more joyous than other days, but your child is a blessing from God. God has entrusted you with this child. He is counting on you to be their parent. Will you step up to the challenge and be your kids’ parent?