Why Can’t They Be More Like Us?

Dear Mr. Dad: Some friends of ours have a very different parenting style than we do. They’re far more concerned with being their children’s friends than in being their parents. We like this couple as people, but my husband and I have a real problem with their parenting and we find ourselves avoiding them more and more. How can we salvage our friendship?

A: Wouldn’t it be nice if all parents had the same values and concerns? Hmm. Probably not—life would be pretty boring that way. Fortunately, though, we’re not lemmings and parents differ, oftentimes in the same family. Usually, these differences aren’t that big a deal and mom and dad figure out on-the-fly workarounds. Other times, they’re the elephant in the room and are impossible to avoid.
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