Oh how tempting it is to want to be buddies with your pre-teen or teen! Sometimes kids actually want to be friends with their parents . . . but sometimes, that’s the last thing they want.

Though a friendship with your teenager seems like the ideal goal, what is more important is to have a godly relationship with your teen. Researchers have found that treating children as friends opens up a relationship of one confidant to another—and when kids have that kind of relationship with their parents, it can actually increase stress. Parents often end up treating the child as an adult therapist, disclosing adult issues with their kids like financial worries, employment hassles, personal problems, or negative feelings about their ex-husbands.

Fight the urge to enter into this kind of relationship with your pre-teen or teen—even if you have a thriving, healthy relationship with them. Yes, you want to have a warm, trusting relationship centered on love for your pre-teen or teen . . . with limits. Your job as a parent is to parent, and to teach them in such a way that they will walk in the way of the Lord.

The easy way is to choose to be our teen’s friend; but being their parent will prevent a lot of problems in the future. I am praying for you!

Watch our online parenting class for more.

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