Do you agree with this phrase about the role of a parent?

United States
June 14, 2007 10:10pm CST
I was reading a book on parenting yesterday and the author said this "Your number one role as a parent is NOT to make your child happy but to prepare them for life". Do you agree with this phrase? I do. I see so many parents just want to be their child's friend and just want to do things to make their child happy but not setting any boundaries, not doing anything to really prepare them for the real world. In the end, it's the child that suffers. What do you think?
1 person likes this
6 responses
@pilbara (1436)
• Australia
15 Jun 07
I don't see them as being mutually exclusive. There is no reason a child cannot be well brought up and happy as well.
2 people like this
• United States
15 Jun 07
I totally agree with you. Unfortunately, a lot of parents seem to think that they are not able to make their children happy unless they cater to their children's needs 100%. They fail to realise that children need structure and that having those structures, boundaries, rules, etc will make them more happy and stable. I have all this for my child and he's the happiest child I know and he still loves me lots! :)
1 person likes this
@pilbara (1436)
• Australia
17 Jun 07
Well put. I think that you can love your child, want good things for them, but ultimately a parent is a parent and not a friend and needs to prepare their child for the future. If you do it right, as you are doing then you get both anyway.
2 people like this
• United States
15 Jun 07
I think that both are correct I don't think that you should only be focused on their success in life because there will be no bond between them. I think a parent should let their kid have fun and be happy but draw the line and set boundaries so that they know when enough is enough so that they will be successful and have a bond with their parents.
2 people like this
• United States
15 Jun 07
I agree. I think what the author is trying to say is "parent first, friend second". Which is also what I believe in. It's impossible to make your child happy 100% of the time if you're being a parent first and doing your job as a parent and not just a friend to them all the time. Those who have kids will understand.
1 person likes this
@FSCAries (881)
• United States
15 Jun 07
I think I also agree with that. It seems kind of harsh, but all in all, it's true. If you don't prepare your children for the real world, what is going to happen to them when they get thrown in it? If kids aren't taught how life really is, they are likely to go out and get into trouble because they don't really know what life is about.
2 people like this
@tinamwhite (3255)
• United States
15 Jun 07
I think that while any parent wants their children to be happy...the parents role in life is to prepare them to become a responible, self-sufficient adult one day...all children need the securityof boundaries and will often test them just for this purpose....to me, it makes a child feel safer if they know that there are tules in place of the entire family... There is plenty of time to be friends with your child after they have reached adulthood...that is when they need your friendship...after they have moved out and are beginning life of an adult.... That is how I see it....
• United States
15 Jun 07
That's exactly how I see it too.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Jun 07
Thanks, my friend for awarding me with the best response...parenting is a many-sided role...isn't it???..LOL
• United States
15 Jun 07
I do agree with the statement to a certain extent. I do want my children to have a happy childhood as I did, but I also want them to know that life is not always easy and to be prepared. I guess it is easier for me now then it will be. My kids are (almost) 7 and 4, so right now, it is important for them to be happy. It is easier for all of us when they are! LOL!! We do teach them boundaries and enforce the rules we have set. However, as they get older, trying to be their friend instead of their parent is not a good path to take. I think they lose respect for their parents and others that are in authority over them. There were times when I felt my parents were too controlling and being unkind to me, now that I have children, I see they were doing what they thought was best and I'm a better person, wife and mother because of it.
• United States
8 Jul 07
With our daughter, we're moving into the phase where everything has to be her way or the highway. She doesn't want to go to bed ever or eat her food. Certainly I have been more lenient with the rules than I should have been. Just because she is only three years old, does not mean she should not be expected to act like a team player. I should have started earlier. With that being said, I am taking necessary steps to remedy my previous error! Moms can learn too!