I went to a nice university when I was 18 to 22. And I made some good friends, had some good times, and got a good education. But anyone, college or not – that’s not the point – has known someone who has gone through a crazy spell. Maybe drinking, maybe drugs, maybe women or work.
In my case, my wife (mainly) still tells stories of her college friends who were stupid drunks at one point in their lives. People who are now in positions of law, and responsibility – whom if you met them 15 years ago – you would be certain they would not hold any sort of prestige. And here they are; Leading supposedly respectable jobs and lives on FB and Instagram.
And a lot of them are parents, who now “preach the gospel”.
And I don’t mean gospel like it sounds, and I don’t preach that you should preach something specific, but the point I’m getting to is to not be a hypocrite. Don’t be that drunk girl, then have kids, and pretend it didn’t happen. Luckily the people I see do this aren’t in my circle, and I view them from a looong distance. But what I’m telling you is that people who know them, don’t respect them. They know the truths, and hypocrisy kills respect.
So as a parent, don’t go to one end of the spectrum and befriend your children with similar hellion stories.
And don’t go to the other end and say, “Do as I say, not as I have done!”
And that’s a tricky middle ground where you can’t rule with fear and you rule with bargaining.
You aren’t their dictator and you aren’t their friend. You’re a parent. Find that middle ground and reconcile it with who you truly are.