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الخميس, مايو 23, 2024
الرئيسيةEnglish?Can You Be Both Parent and Friend

?Can You Be Both Parent and Friend

· Jennifer Waddle

To be both parent and friend is an honor and a blessing. However, it requires a careful balance of the two. If we are always our child’s friend without exercising parental authority, we blur the lines of the parent/child relationship. On the other hand, if we are focused only on correction without connection, we will likely push them away.

Yes, we can be both parent and friend, but there is a God-given order to things that helps us balance the relationship properly. Here are three things to consider.

Be a Child First

Let your children see that you are not only their parent; you are a child of God. As a believer in Christ, you have been accepted into the family of God and purpose to live according to His Word. It’s important for your children to see that your relationship with the Lord is what guides you as both parent and friend. This is foundational to our children’s understanding of God’s beautiful design.

Emphasizing our obedience to the Father will help our kids see the proper order of things and hopefully give them a deeper understanding of why we parent the way we do. The prophet Isaiah said, “Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” This imagery is a wonderful way to help our kids understand that we are children of God first and accountable to Him. And hopefully, it will encourage them to seek a relationship with the Lord as well.

Here are a few verses to discuss with your children in regards to being a child of God:

Be a Parent Second

Once you have emphasized your accountability to God first, it is essential to establish your parental authority second. This creates a healthy framework of trust and respect so that the friendship side of parenting can be built in the best way possible.

Being a parent before being a friend means:

-We set healthy boundaries

-We make the final decisions

-Our decisions can be trusted

-We should be honored and respected

Many parents are tempted to be their child’s friend first, but this can cause a dangerous pattern of disregard for healthy authority. Children might not take parents seriously if they are used to being “buddy-buddy” all the time. This can lead to unfavorable consequences, especially during adolescence.

Be a Friend Third

It truly is a blessing to be our children’s friend. This aspect of the parent/child relationship is not only fun; it’s a precious bond that is hard to break. Think about it this way: When children know they can confide in their parents as they would a friend, it creates an extra layer of safety and security. They grow up with the assurance that someone has their back, is there to cheer them on, and can be counted on to help.

Developing a “teamwork” mindset with our children is beneficial in more ways than one. It lets our kids know we are doing life together, figuring it out as we go, and ready to offer grace when the other one makes a mistake. What a beautiful dynamic!

There is a beautiful order to things established by our Creator – to be His children first, parents second, and friends third. When we get this right, our relationships with our kids can flourish in the way they were intended. What an honor it is to be both parent and friend.

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