Parenting For Dummies

Everybody loves the cool parents, and they all wished that they were theirs, but what if cool parents aren’t really the parents people should want after all?

McKenna Kalisz

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Growing up, everyone wants to have the cool parents who let their kids go out all night, go to parties, have all their friends over and be able to talk about anything and everything without getting in trouble.

‘I’d rather you do it here than somewhere else,’ a phrase that seems to be more and more common nowadays in households everywhere. In this day and age, it’s common for kids to start drinking and doing drugs in high school because society has made it a rite of passage that everyone needs to experience during this time, and some parents don’t seem to try and stop them.

Not only is it common for these things to be allowed today, but the type of parents encouraging it has become increasingly more and more popular. Some teenagers even vow that when they have children they will be these parents—the ones that allow them to go out, party, drink, smoke and talk to their kids without judging or punishing them.

However, not every teenager feels the frustration of  having to follow every rule. On any given day, one can easily walk through a high school and find a handful of students that consider their parents as ‘goals’—ones who have the freedom to do what they want, whenever they want.

“My parents are what most people consider as goals,” Jones said. “They let me do what I want but they also give me restrictions.”

Being the ‘cool’ parent who is always there to listen and won’t punish their child for their actions may seem great, but where is the line of being a friend or stepping up and actually parenting drawn? For some parents, it’s harder to distinguish where this line should be, or if there even is a line after all.

On the other hand, some parents have a totally different viewpoint of how parenting should be done.

According to the Kidsafe Foundation, “our job as parents is to prepare our children for life; to be able to talk with our children about real issues, with the intention of teaching them life skills so they, and we, will be confident for when they go out on their own, they will be able to make the safest and smartest choices. Friends do not have this type of relationship, active parents do.”

A friend is someone who doesn’t judge or comment on another’s actions, but that’s not what a parent is supposed to be like. Parents should be there to listen but also discipline their child.

KidSafe Foundation stated, “I believe that a parent is there to protect, guide, and teach. They should model good decision making, model kind behavior, keep the family safe, and provide the consistency in a child’s life so they can feel safe and comfortable and best able to handle life’s challenges along the way.”

Parenting doesn’t necessarily force one out of being bestfriends with their child, it’s all about the balance and boundaries that are set within the relationship. Having an honest and open relationship doesn’t mean allowing children to smoke and drink without repercussions, even though the rules may not stop them; it means having rules and boundaries to potentially stop them.

“I would describe [my parents] style as somewhat strict,” junior Annie Freeman said. “I have a curfew, they don’t usually let me hang out with my friends on weekdays and sometimes they can be strict when it comes to having sleep overs, but they’re rules aren’t that overbearing.”

Being a parent can be a full time job. There isn’t guidelines to show how one is supposed to be a parent and succeed. Some choose the strict route and have rules while others are more lenient and go with the flow. There is no right or wrong way of raising a child as long as the result is a well rounded human being.