Being Your Kid's Friend Is One of the Worst Mistakes You Can Make (VIDEO)

Love & Learn 4

mad lifeGrowing up as the only child of a single mother, I felt like my mom was more of a best friend than an actual parent. Later I blamed my mom for giving me what I wanted instead of what I needed. But now that I'm a single mom myself, I realize it's a lot harder to be an authority figure than a BFF. Especially after a divorce. That's when CafeMom co-founder Andrew Shue found himself falling into best bud mode with his three boys. On the latest episode of the new CafeMom Studios' series Mad Life, Shue talks about his post-divorce struggles with guilt and loneliness and how he started spending all his time with his kids, "staying up late and watching Yankee games" and having fun and generally being more of a pal than a parent. Having been there, on both sides, I can most definitely relate.  

So I know how important it is for "best friend" parents like Shue to have "authority figure" parents around as reminders to stay strong. Shue's mother-in-law Joan Robach (mom of two) and comedian pal Chuck Nice (father of two) are perfect examples: "It's okay if your kids don't like you," said Robach. Love and respect are more important. Or in other words, don't worry about saying "no," worry about what kind of people they'll grow up to be if they never hear it.

Check out the clip for more tips:

Helpful advice, right? Particularly for pushovers like me. I especially liked hearing Shue talk about how he transitioned his kids back to being his kids instead of his friends (there's hope for all of us!).

Are you a best-friend or a best-parent?


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cafemom studios, family, independence, discipline, divorce


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nonmember avatar Day

As the only child of a single military parent, things were a bit hard. So when I hit my teens my mom told me that we could be friends on the weekend but through the week we were mother/daughter (but she said, just to be clear, I am ALWAYS your mother and don't forget it) Before my teens there was no friendship. It was strictly mother and daughter and laid the ground for respect,love, discipline and little bit of fear. The friendship grew as I got older. So when I became an adult, we not only had the mother/daughter thing down, we had the friendship thing down too.

miche... michellerobenee

I have a "friend" who treats her 12 year old like a friend and not her kid.  No one wants to be around that kid because she thinks she is on the same level as an adult.

I don't like that kind of parenting.  You need to be a parent, not an equal.

nonmember avatar Ginger

My husband and his ex-wife are totally guilty of this with their daughter. Their 14 year old has infinitely more freedom and lower expectations than we have for my 4 and 3 year olds. Its frustrating for me as I watch a beautiful, incredibly smart girl turn in to a co-dependent and helpless and at times lazy young adult but I can't change that situation. I just try to be the voice of reason. Even if she hates me know for being the "mean" one, I know that when she grows up she will reflect on who really wanted her to be able to take care of herself and who gave her a free ride. I know I did.

Luz NeNa Gonzalez

Sometimes it's not all true. I am a young mom and I have three boys and their 23, 18 & 16. And I raised them as a parent but also as the best friend they will ever have. And it worked out because they know they can always come to me with any issues that they might have and they still do til this day. My 23 yr old has a family of his own. And he said he wants to raise his daughter they way I raised him. My 18 yr old is off at school. And my 16 yr old is in high school. They know they have limits. I stressed that out in the very early ages. Respect me as your mother but I am also your best friend. When asked to go to the mall with their friends they want me to come along. They do not and I mean do not use any curse words around me. They don't like it when I do it. My kids will show respect to any and all adults. If you don't set the boundries of course they will walk all over you. And they never crossed those boundries with me. A lot of my friends and family say I did a Great job raising my kids by myself. That they are really good kids. I just Thank God for his help.

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