Why You Should Be Your Child's Best Friend: Relationship is the Best Key to Effective Parenting

Tammy Cox By Tammy Cox, 19th Sep 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Parenting

A good relationship is essential if parents want to influence the choices their children make, especially when they are teens facing peer pressure about issues like drugs, sex and drinking.

A conversation about the DARE program

We keep hearing that we cannot be our child's friend - we have to be the parent. We have to be in charge! I used to agree with that, but then several years ago I had a conversation in the car with my 13 year old grandson Robert. He taught me that the very best parents are also best friends with their children. That day as we drove past a bill board sign about the DARE program, I asked him, "You did the DARE program - what did you think of it?"

He said, "It was OK. But Grammy, don't worry! I am NEVER going to use drugs."

Curious, I asked "Oh? Why not?"

He replied, "Well, my Mom told me about how much trouble it can cause you, how it messes up your health and how it can keep you from doing other things you really want to do, and I just do not want any of that in my life."

I continued, "Hmmm. I told your Mom those same things when she a kid but she tried drugs anyway. Why do you think you believed her and decided not to do drugs?"

He looked at me with a confused expression and said, "Well, my Mom would never lie to me so why wouldn't I believe her? I know she always wants what is best for me."

Even though I knew the answer, I probed a little more: "I wonder why you listened to her but she didn't listen to me. I wanted what was best for her too. What do you think I might have done wrong?"

His response was "I don't know Grammy. Mom has always told me you were a wonderful mother."

I nodded and said, "I think she was just very angry with me when she was your age."

"Why would she be so angry with you?" he asked.

I explained, "I think she was just very angry because of all the ways I tried to control her, especially when she was little." (I was a major control freak!)

The light went on and he said, "Oh! That must be it! My Mom never tries to control me! But, she knows that if it is something really important I am going to cooperate and do what she wants because I know my Mom would NEVER ask me to do anything that would hurt me or not be in my best interest!"

Relationship is important!

That was the day I really got how important a close, loving, respectful and trusting relationship is between parent and child. Think about it! If you have that kind of relationship with anyone are you not more likely to cooperate and be willing to listen to their advice? Are you not more likely to just want to be around them?

There is one thing that needs clarification. Friends and buddies are not the same thing. Buddies often get us in trouble, but real friends always want what is in our best interest. A close, loving, and respectful relationship based on true friendship is the most important key to effective parenting.


Buddies, Dare Program, Drugs, Friends, Relationship, Teens

Meet the author

author avatar Tammy Cox
Parent educator and instructor trainer, relationship coach, public speaker, writer, Mother, Grandmother, former caregiver of elderly parent and now several dogs and a cat.

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author avatar educationgrandma
29th Oct 2015 (#)

Tammy shares some important words of wisdom. I especially appreciate her differentiation between "buddies" and "friends". Parent friends always want what is best for the child. Friendship builds trust. What a difference trust can make.

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author avatar Tammy Cox
29th Oct 2015 (#)

Thank you Barbara! I recently received an e-mail from someone ranting about how you can not be a friend to your child. What I realized and what I told her was that our definitions of "friend" were very different.

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