Most of us have heard countless admonitions against becoming friends with our children. Like Church and State, these warnings seem to imply that successful parenting entails creating a great division between the realms of parenting and friendship. They advise grasping the parental role by the horns and maintaining authoritative power in order to garner love and respect from your children. In short, to have a happy, healthy, thriving child, friendship and parenting simply cannot coexist. This, I'm here to assert, is totally bogus. Not only is becoming friends with your kid amazing in almost every possible way, but it's a process that you might not even see coming; Considering that kids start out as needy babies who are as devoid of personality and incapable of stimulating conversation as humans ever get, it can be surprising when you look up and realize, "Wait, you're kind of... awesome. Like, not just awesome in the sense that you're my child and therefore I love you on that basis alone, but you're like, genuinely excellent to hang out with and I like you."
While no one can argue the importance of boundaries in the parent/child dynamic, the idea that you can't or won't eventually become friends with someone that you'll be spending so much time with for the next 18 years is preposterous. Of course, you likely won’t be besties with your kid right off the bat. After all, who’d want to be friends with someone who is perpetually crapping all over them, siphoning off their money, hiding their car keys, throwing tantrums in check out lines, and keeping them awake at all hours of the night? Like anything worth waiting for, think fine wines and aged cheeses here, the process of your kid becoming your favorite person to hang out with is a gradual one.