COTW – You’re not supposed to be your children’s friend.

My article this week on there being no short cuts in life got a lot of traffic and comments, which was much appreciated by yours truly. Two comments in particular caught my eye about what it means to raise children, and particularly boys in a world where the family has become so perverted by outside hostile forces.

From regular commenter Allen:

I’ll approach this from the other side of the coin of having raised three boys. I watch fathers of today and watched many of my peers absolutely fuck up their responsibilities. I put it all down to fear of disapproval. The things boys most need to learn are often unpleasant and difficult to hear, and many fathers have become afraid to do this. It takes a certain amount of “I don’t give a fuck what you think” for a father to raise a boy properly, and frankly most guys just don’t have it.

Damn straight. Being independent of the good opinion of others, also known as the “I don’t give a fuck what you think” rule is the key to all things in life as a man. If you can’t even stand up to the little barbarians that are your progeny then you have no hope duking it out with Bill the bully down at the office.

Back when I was in my early twenties, newly arrived in Sydney on my motorbike with no friends or income in that daunting metropolis, (as detailed in my first book which you can acquire by paying money for it), I discovered a quote in a long forgotten book which went something like this:

Happiness is being independent of the good opinion of other people.

Today I’m not so keen on using the word happiness here – I’d much prefer something like strength or personal power. But the quote struck me, so much so that I wrote it down and stuck it in a prominent place.

It probably took me another 10 years or so to reach a point where I was able to truthfully live that quote without faking it.

CombatMissonary joined in to add something to Allen’s effort:

Damn straight.
All of my kids learned early on not to worry about what other people think: I told them flat-out that there are magic words that make other people stop trying to control you: “I don’t care what you think.” They’re all healthy, happy, and focusing on developing their lives into what THEY want. They’re all learning to be hard workers and self-starters.

Not caring what others think of you is probably even more important in the age of social media, or at least the consequences for not following it are more amplified.

I get so sick of parents who try to be their kids’ buddies.
My kids know that I love them and that I’m always in their corner, but that if they’re screwing up, I’ll put my boot in.
There’s a difference.
They’re not growing up to be physically or emotionally soft, or to pin their happiness on what others think of them, or to expect anyone else to provide for them.

One of my most important traits of the modern man is number 26 – The modern man civilizes his children. Trying to be your kids’ buddy is deplorable behavior in an adult. You are there to guide them, to mentor them, to teach them, and to equip them with the skills that they need so as to be able to function and prosper in the modern world.

Attempting to be their friend might make you feel good, but it is a complete abdication of your responsibilities. Not only that but it sets them up for a lifetime of misery as they attempt to undo the damage that you did to them. Picture a young man with no prospects in a flophouse room taping a message to a thin veneer wall.

You cannot teach, guide, mentor, or equip your children with what they need if you also attempt to be their buddy. You may very well succeed in conning yourself into believing that you are able to do so, but the truth is otherwise.

Fathers who attempt the buddy line often do so because their out of control wives pressure them into doing it. By not standing up to their spouse they are then forced to not stand up to their children. There has been a great deal of men not standing up to women over the last 97 years. It’s high time that we did something about it and your greatest responsibility and the first place that you can start is to get your own house in order.

10 thoughts on “COTW – You’re not supposed to be your children’s friend.

  1. Excellent, Re Combat Missionary and general >>
    I happened to raise my girl at the same time as a friend raised his. he was a friend to his girl, first names, while my daughter referred to me as “Father”, and expected me to be an authority, guiding figure .
    Later on, he would attend all his daughter’s friends parties, smoke dope with them, and play Peter Pan. Result: Girl lacking in confidence and completely lacking a father.
    By good luck, and good upbringing my own daughter has good confidence and has courage

    Aside re Adam’s book. I tried to order to New Zealand , quoted at $16. Internet scams are getting worse. Amazon says here is your account $NZ83 including $59 shipping to NZ. I don’t think so. I will get the book another way Adam .I know our currency is lousy now we elected a Socialist Government but that is insane.

    side 2 . Beware of Internet Air fares everyone. I booked BKK to Toronto, All Nippon decided they wouldn’t fly me, contrived bouncing, who gives a fuck about cattle class passengers no refund. $1700. Always check google for bad rap on Air lines.

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  2. Marty

    Purchased Adams book on my kindle – cost 10 bucks and appeared instantly. Have not read it yet but looking forward to it. I had a multi-year adventure in Italy as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If you want to see a great example of the female imperative in action check out the parenting advice on how to raise a son. Most of it is written by women, for women, with virtually no mention of the father.

    They tend to gloss over the part about much older boys testing adult boundaries with all that testosterone and aggression running through them. There is a sound reason for alpha behavior in a father, it’s for the safety of the male children.

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  4. LadyMoonlight

    I have a son who will be 43 next month (an alpha male) and a daughter who is 39. I raised them alone after my ex husband walked out, on welfare (when my son had left home to be independent and my daughter was doing her HSC, I started the long road at Uni to get my degree and get a career to start paying back to society the welfare I had lived on while I stayed home and raised my kids). My mother’s advice helped me raising them alone….there are three things necessary to raise children…equal amounts of love, discipline and communication and, added to that, the children will have enough friends, they don’t need another one, they need a parent. It worked. I have never been, am not now and never will be a feminist so my son and daughter were not raised in a toxic environment that saw men as evil incarnate and women as weak beings who needed all the comfort from other women (I personally can think of nothing worse). I was the best role model I could be for my kids; no drugs, no alcohol, and definitely no screwing anything with two legs and a heartbeat…I stayed alone because I wanted my kids to be safe and not have a line of “uncles” coming and going. I have been alone (that’s totally alone and celibate) for 37 years now; it’s too late for me, life has passed me by (I am still working and paying taxes), but that isn’t the issue. The main thing is that my kids grew up safe, they grew up strong, they grew up to be adults I am proud of because I was the best parent I could be and I knew how to say NO.

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  5. Pingback: FMJRA 2.0: Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? : The Other McCain

  6. NTSOG

    I’m a teacher, now retired after 50 years in primary, secondary and mostly special education. I specialised in behaviour management and worked with some of the most dangerous children and adults with disabilities there were. I was and am tough about correcting behaviour and making children own their own actions. A comment from a Grade 4 child in a US primary school has stuck in my mind since 1980. The school was attached to a university in Virginia and student teachers had their first taste of teaching under supervision in the school. One day Grade 4 took advantage of a novice student teacher – it was only her fifth lesson – and they, quite deliberately, took her apart. She failed her lesson and was required to make up a couple of weeks later.

    The next day I taught Grade 4. I sat them down and asked “What happened yesterday with Miss Jones?” None of them would look at me as they all knew that their behaviour had been abysmal. I asked further “You were all there. … Someone must know…?” After a minute, from the back, a lad called out “We hate student teachers!” My response was “I think she got the message.” The Lad continued, standing up as he said “Student teachers let us do anything.” He pointed at me for emphasis and said “You make us do things!” [Of interest is that this particular lad was from a broken home and his behaviour had, initially, been very difficult and characterised by sulky tantrums when he did not get his way. He did not get away with anything with me and became a good student.]

    His point was that he and other children do not like or trust adults who are not in charge as adults should be. They actually know they need adults to keep them safe. Adults can be ‘friendly’ toward children, but cannot ever be friends of children as children want and need adults to be adults and protect and guide them.

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  7. squid_hunt

    Could not agree more. Children get their identities from their fathers first and most naturally. I have several girls and several boys and it’s been interesting at times when my wife would jump in the middle of what was going on and I had to put her out. The most recent was when my oldest daughter turned 13, suddenly my wife would get angry every time I corrected her. My wife was also pushing some really weird things on her or facilitating her, like being attracted to the loseriest black guys in our neighborhood. I finally squashed the stupid teenage nonsense and then had to turn around and squash my wife’s fit over it. In most cases, she’s very reasonable and helpful. This was just weird. I believe there’s some sort of subtle programming going on that causes this and I can’t even figure out what the engine is.

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  8. TechieDude

    When and where I grew up parents being “friends” with their kids was unheard of. Later on, when it started popping up my mom would look at these women like they were lunatics. I remember her and one of her friends watching a hippy type neighbor try to reason with her toddler having a meltdown. She’d never have permitted such a thing in public.

    Nearly all the men I grew up around were strong characters. And I learned a lot from them. One Coworker (when I was in my 20s) was telling me about his kid pouting because he could’t take the car to work. His line stuck with me then, and I’ve used it on my own kids – “I bought that car for me. It’s for my convenience, not yours. You don’t want a ride to work, fine. Take the bus or walk. Getting to your job is your problem, not mine”

    I had three rules laid down when my kids were small and started acting up with the missus. They were:

    1. This is my castle, I’m the king and your mom is the queen. What we say goes, what we tell you to do, you do. This isn’t a democracy. When you are 18, feel free to get your own house with your own rules.
    2. Never, ever lie to us. You may get into trouble, but if we catch you in a lie, it’ll be far, far worse for you. Chances are, we know what you did and want to see what you say.
    3. If it’s on the floor, and especially if I step on it, it goes in the garbage. I don’t care what it is, put it away or back where it belongs.

    We never, ever, tolerated insolence or challenge to our authority. It’s literally the only thing I spanked my kids over. Each one, maybe once or twice, then they got it and I never had to do anything else but talk.

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    1. TechieDude

      Oh… and #4 when the daughters got older – “You bring a dude in here with a neck tattoo, and he’ll be leaving at the end of my shotgun.

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