At work last Sunday evening, two of my co-workers and I were having a conversation that touched on children "hating" their parents. M. said that her 17-year old son hates her. T. said that if our kids don't hate us at 17 that we are not doing our job. He said that our job is not to be friends with our kids, but to teach them.
I have heard and read this stance before. I disagree. Why have children if you cannot be friends with them? Why does "teaching" them preclude being their friend? Does being a child's friend mean that you cannot teach them anything? Does being a child's friend as a parent mean that you do not discipline them? It brings to mind the time that a previous co-worker of mine saw me in my car with my infant daughter, she saw me talk to my daughter. She expressed amazement that I would be talking to my daughter, "as if she were a person". Yes, that's a quote. I told her that actually, my daughter IS a person, and yes I speak to her as such. Well, I do have a role model in all this. My mother loved me, was a fantastic parent to me, and was my friend. She taught me much in life. I can only hope that I am anywhere near as good a parent to my daughter as my mother was to me.