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How to Be a Good Parent

5 Signs You're Being a "Peerent," Not a Parent

The word "peerenting" may be fairly new, but chances are you already know a peerent, or maybe even are one yourself. You know, the mom who describes herself as her daughter's best friend or the dad who overshares about his life. Peerents are afraid of hearing the word "no" from their kids! Sometimes, though, the signs you're being a peerent instead of a parent aren't that obvious. Here are the five signs that you may be more peer than parent to your child.

You don't say "no" to your kids.

Source: ABC

We all struggle with setting boundaries once in a while, and few parents enjoy being the disciplinarian. But if you're constantly ignoring your better instincts and letting your child do what he wants so you don't hurt his feelings, you're acting more like a peerent than a parent. Parents know that even though it feels awful, you have to be the bad guy and set limits when your child is running wild.

You shop at the same clothing stores as your kid.

Source: Paramount Pictures

It may be cute to wear matching outfits when your child is a toddler, but as they get older, it's not. Your child needs to develop her own style and wear what her friends are wearing without worrying that you'll be rummaging through her closet for something "cool" to wear. It's not that big a deal if you're shopping at a store that sells clothes for all ages, but when you start wearing the same styles as your tween or teen, you may be toeing the parent-peerent line.


You treat your child like a friend.

Source: ABC

There's a big difference between being friendly with your child and having common interests, and treating him like a friend. Your child doesn't need to know about your love life or why you think your boss isn't treating you fairly at work — that's peerenting. A parent doesn't use a child as a life coach.

You fix your child's problems for him.

Source: Paramount Pictures

No parents want to see their child struggle, but sometimes you have to let go a little to let her grow a little. You might be a peerent if you listen to your children's worries, fears, and concerns and then come up with a plan of action for the two of you to fix everything together. Or worse, intervene without her even knowing. Parents help kids learn to solve their own problems; peerents tend to do too much for their kids.

You let your kid call all the shots.

Source: ABC

There's nothing wrong with letting your child be a part of the decision-making process around the house, but if you're tiptoeing around and letting him rule with a heavy hand, that's a fair sign you're peerenting and not parenting. Parents know that they are in charge and make the big decisions about how life at home is going to go. It's one thing to let your child decide what color to paint his room, but it's quite another to let him veto the colors you want to paint your room!

Front Page Image Source: ABC

Join The Conversation
CarlaCharter1366254060 CarlaCharter1366254060 3 years
My daughter, who is in college tells me the reason we are best friends is she's knows I will step up and be a parent when I need to be.
kjforce kjforce 3 years
I believe most parents today are overwhelmed with both parents working, struggling economy, divorce etc. Perhaps they were unprepared for all they took on...As a prior working Mom with a career, and now a Grandmother, I see the struggles my daughter is up against, I am helping raise my G-C and the exposure to society changes is appalling, but you can't shelter them from everything. As a Parent, you just can't give up.. hat's off to all my words and I quote, the definition of the word " APPARENT is realized/ understood when you become one ".... just my thoughts...
TracyDeakinPiercy TracyDeakinPiercy 3 years
That animation is so blinding and irritating I was unable to finish the article. Whoever thought that was a good idea should be fired. Don't do it again, it added nothing to the article and gave me a headache. Simple pictures are fine if you feel they are needed.
stuartmorris28271 stuartmorris28271 3 years
I agree with this article, and as a step dad to 3 children the easiest option would be to be their friend, in much the same way the father and step mum are. Being a peerent is not good for the kids nor me, because then I have no authority and this leads to all manor of problems, and this will only worsen as they get older. Children need stability and strength with discipline and kindness and guidance, not a friend, 30 years older then them.
Gaelas Gaelas 3 years
This may be a good article. I can't finish reading it because the animation is awful. It might be best for this type of article to place your animation in the first photo, rather than overkill with so much animation on the screen that you nearly send your reader into seizures.
sarahscofield1370569874 sarahscofield1370569874 3 years
I agree with Amy Edwards 1908. Each family dynamic is different and if parents adhered to everybody recommendation in the 1000's of how to parenting books we would be living in a constant state of self doubt and conflict about what or how to every second of the day.
AmyEdwards1908 AmyEdwards1908 3 years
Articles like this are irritating. Being a parent is hard enough without some " development expert " letting us know how we are failing this week.
ClareHenderson ClareHenderson 3 years
So I guess that means I'm a failure. Thanx. We all try & do our best. It's not easy. I struggle daily with my children & am getting profwessional assistance. As a divorced parent I have to be everything to my kids. I have certain rules there is no negotiation on but some things I just can't fight. I work full time & have no help. Their dad is not around (their/his choice) but I'm not sure he would've made a positive difference. God has nothing to do with it.
missnanny missnanny 3 years
God calls us to be parents - not the children's friends. If you let your child call the shots - you are failing miserably.
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