Drawing the line between being a friend and a parent

A child sitting in timeout.
Photo credit Comstock/Getty Images
By KYW Newsradio 1060

KYW Newsradio’s Medical Reports are sponsored by Independence Blue Cross. 

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — It's a problem anyone with children faces: Where do you draw the line between being a friend and being a parent?  

Certainly it's important as a parent to be a friend. It's important to be able to provide concern and love and nurturing support, but at the same time, there are periods where you have to show discipline and show your child that you are in charge. 

That's a situation where many people get into trouble.  

You need to have balance. There is quite a bit of information in medical literature about this, and the interesting point is there is general agreement that children understand when a parent needs to show discipline. They are able to process a parent's role and although they may be angry in the short-term, they actually understand in the long-run that it can lead to a stronger friendship.