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Old 01-17-2008, 11:09 AM
 
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
1,906 posts, read 6,125,417 times
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My daughter is 17 and will be 18 next month (!). For the past several years, she has fluctuated between wanting me to be more "cool," and wanting me to remain "the parent." Now that she is almost 18, she seems to have some recognition about me being a "parent," and not the "friend." We are definitely friendly, and we have fun together on the other hand, she has had rules to follow, rewards and consequences, and little-by-little has been handed more adult-like responsibilities.

It's funny that now she has begun to say, "You're cool, mom." She also observes other kids and sees how they are not either being disciplined, or are not learning independent living skills she really understands now why I have been "strict" in having her follow rules and learn skills.

It's a teenager's "job" to push the limits it's the parent's job to set the limits. Sometimes push comes to shove but ultimately, kids know that they are in a precarious situation of not quite knowing how to handle things. They need guidance. Be supportive, yet also set boundaries.

Just realize that hormones will rage, and emotions will rise, but if you keep a steady pace of always following through with what you say (don't leave loopholes), and little-by-little loosening up on the reins, eventually your kids will see how helpful you have been.

It's a super tough job being a good parent, but the rewards are worth it. Just keep in mind that many times what they are going through is the first time they are going through it, and they need guidance in how to handle it.

I am always so surprised and pleased when my daughter thanks me for teaching her so many skills, setting limits, and still giving her independence. Just be consistent, listen, and try to do the best you can. Kids have lots of friends in their own age group right now they need a parent "cool" or not.
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Old 01-17-2008, 11:17 AM
 
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I dont think one can do a good job as a parent if you want to be cool. Children will love you no matter what ; I find that my boys are well grounded because my dh and I parent them. It is not our job as parents to be cool. Our job as a parent is to guide our children thru life, respect them, teach them, and once they are adults then we can be cool.

My friend was a cool parent ; she did what the kids wanted, if the son wanted a pie in his face at a party, she did it (yes, she did).
However now that son is 15, going on 16, drinking, out all night, and of course its the fathers fault. The father tried to be a parent, but was always ruled against by the mother.

Its the hardest job in the book. My sons are only 7 & 9 and I dread the teenage years. But they also know the rules.
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Old 01-24-2008, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Wake Forest
934 posts, read 932,663 times
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IT's tough!

But my job ( and I admit I am a pretty strict parent) is to be their PARENT. I'll be their friend when they are all grown up!

They have to understand that a lot depends on their attitude/ behavior/grades ( whatever your guidelines are). If they are 'good', then you're 'cool'. If not -youre just a mean dad!

Regardless, brace yourself to be told they hate you! They dont mean it (deep inside, anyways) they just want to get their way!
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Old 01-24-2008, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,189 posts, read 24,465,817 times
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Marlow makes some good points. I was always considered the "cool" parent, but I was also the tough love parent. True to myself, and true to parenting in ways that resembled my idea of fair worked out rather well. I never or rarely wavered when a decision was made, and it really helped in their understanding of healthy boundaries and they didn't get into the often typical manipulation of playing one parent against the other, or attempting to get me to change my mind. I also did not appear to follow a typical pattern but rather one that seemed the most consistent. However, I never set up unreasonable rules and they could go to sleep when they were tired, or each watermelon for dinner.

Even now these grown-ups will include me in their fun, but know instantly when it is time to acknowledge that even fun has its limits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marlow View Post
I think you have to stop thinking about being cool at all and concentrate on being fair, patient, kind and consistent. (If you're already a cool guy, that will come through too.) You'll just have to take each situation as it comes. It's great that you've acknowledged to them and to yourself that things will most likely be different now. Keep the communication open and remember that they have lots of cool friends but only 1 dad.
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Old 01-26-2008, 11:22 AM
 
Location: UK
131 posts, read 288,344 times
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I think it depends on how old they are. But just remember that teenagers are going to do things that they want to do. eg go to parties etc. If you are still reasonable and somewhat 'cool dad' you will at least know where they are and who they are with. If you go too OTT on rules they will do it anyway behind your back. I'm currently 16. my mum used to be reasonably strict but I have still slept ruf several times with friends, been pissed etc without her knowing. Now she is lest strict so I ask her permission a lot more instead of just lieing and doin it anyway.
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Old 01-26-2008, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Michigan
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Remember: corporal punishment is still legal
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Old 01-30-2008, 04:29 AM
 
Location: Lehigh Valley
1,030 posts, read 3,798,552 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marlow View Post
I think you have to stop thinking about being cool at all and concentrate on being fair, patient, kind and consistent. (If you're already a cool guy, that will come through too.) You'll just have to take each situation as it comes. It's great that you've acknowledged to them and to yourself that things will most likely be different now. Keep the communication open and remember that they have lots of cool friends but only 1 dad.
Great advice!

Best of luck!
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Old 11-22-2008, 05:03 PM
 
Location: Some place very cold
5,500 posts, read 19,513,009 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LEVOW View Post
Right now you probably have read my post already, if not, heres the situation.My 2 kids basically started living with me fulltime, recently, before this i would only see them every other weekend.Too make a long story short, on those weekends i would waste all my time and money trying to entertain them, being the cool dad, but now.......[especially with my teenager]I need to start being a real dad, not just a clown their to cater to their every need, i find it very tough, especially since my daughter has always been "daddys lil girl" to discipline her but still be "cool"with her, and i told her, that their was going to bew times when she was going to get mad at me and think im the biggest [a hole] in the world.Question, how can i make a smooth transition from cool dad to fair sometimes cool dad.?
I see this a lot with parents who are separated. Spoiling children has more to do with the parent wanted to be liked or not wanting to feel guilty. Kids really need boundaries and discipline. It makes them feel safe, like a baby wrapped in a blanket. They feel contained. As a parent, you want to do what is best for your child, and that means to be consistent, fair, and loving. It does not mean being their "buddy" or "friend." A child needs a parent.

I'm sure you'll do fine.
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