A lot of parents struggle with the line between wanting their children to “like” them and needing to be the parent– which sometimes means the bad guy. I appreciate the message Pam Howard shared in her article for the Huffington Post on this topic, and her perspective that beyond being healthy for the child, maintaining that parental role can make the parent happier. Here’s an excerpt from her article, and I hope you’ll click the link below for the full post.
It’s natural: no matter what your child’s age, you want him to be happy.
And you’ll do just about anything to make sure he is.
The problem is that you’ll do just about anything to make sure he isn’t unhappy, either.
And that’s making you miserable.
Trying to protect your child from so-called negative feelings of disappointment, anger, sadness, and frustration can be exhausting.
You avoid his anger or meltdowns at all costs, so you give in easily and often. You say “yes” when you want to say “no.”
You don’t want your child to be upset, but more than that, you don’t want to be seen as the bad guy.
Then one day you realize it’s your child, not you, calling all the shots. He just expects to get whatever he wants whenever he wants it. He takes advantage of you. He holds you hostage with threats of misbehavior. You find yourself walking on eggshells, parenting from a place of fear, and resenting him for being ungrateful and taking you for granted.