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They’ll get by with a little help from their parents

Children need guardians who provide boundaries that help them grow, not who try to be their friends or defend them unconditionally, writes Martin Stephen

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There’ve been two unfortunate developments in parenting in recent years.

The first is the growth of the “buddy” syndrome, summed up for me by a father I once knew who made this announcement about his son: “There’s one thing you should know about John: I am his best friend, and he is mine.” Really? In my experience, children have their friends – the last person on earth they want to be at the party with is their parents.

Parents aren’t there to be friends. Friendly? Yes. Friends? No.

Parents are there to dictate unreasonable times for the child to be home by, to limit screen time and to sniff ...

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