Should I be friends with my teenager?

A family psychologist this oft-asked question by parents of teens

Women with a teenager

In my role as a clinical psychologist and a speaker, I have spoken to hundreds of parents and teens and there is one question that comes up repeatedly from parents all over the world. That question is “Should I be friends with my teenager?”

Parents are confused about this issue because while they feel they will get closer to their teenage kids if they act like friends, they are also concerned they will lose their authority as parents.

Friends can’t be authority figures

I understand parents’ apprehensions. I am also aware that most parents simply want the best for their teens. I must tell you now where I stand on this matter. Parents should NOT be friends with their teens.

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A version of this was first published in the January 2014 issue of Complete Wellbeing.

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