Dads As Son's Best Friend? Here's Why Experts Say It's Wrong Parenting

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald April 06, 04:00 am

It might be heartwarming to see dads bonding with their sons like best friends. Experts, however, oppose this kind of parenting, especially when children need structure, discipline and authority in their young life so they can cope with adulthood better.

These days, it's common to spot fathers getting chummy and doing the same things with their sons like they are peers. Unlike dads before Generation X, who were distant and only focused on their role as providers and disciplinarians, today's fathers play and party with their children, especially the teen boys.

Dad Phil Robinson cited celebrity dad David Beckham as an example of when it might be necessary to draw the line between parenting and friendship, via Telegraph. Beckham's teenage son Brooklyn got a tattoo similar to his dad's. There was no questions Beckham is very much an involved, devoted and loving father to his kids.

Robinson wondered, however, if treating the kids as friends robs them of a figure of authority; someone who taught the kids boundaries. He said that while it is good dads that make efforts to be close to their kids, they also need to separate themselves and be the leaders.

Educator Barnaby Lenon also doesn't see dads as best friends as an effective parenting strategy. Such a technic doesn't teach boys to become men. Lenon saw boys in his school who failed academically, lacked motivation and got into trouble or had poor discipline because their father didn't show authority and leadership.

"Sometimes dads are trying too hard to be boys' best friends," Lenon said, as per Daily Mail. "But boys particularly need firm discipline, they have become more disadvantaged."

Mom Amanda Killelea doesn't have boys but two growing girls and she also do not believe parents should be their kids' best friends, as per Daily Mirror. For Killelea, it doesn't matter if she's not the cool mom. "My main job is to parent, not to be their BFF (best friend forever)."

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