When I was a child, we had a black Labrador Alsatian cross. Wonderful as he was, he became one thoroughly confused dog. Five owners, and five completely different sets of rules. Despite my parents best efforts to insist on uniformity, this poor dog never really knew where the boundaries were.
Exactly the same thing happens when parents try to be friends with their children. When parents place a higher priority on being liked, being matey and being friends with their kids, Children land up confused. Parents, in turn, become very frustrated because children then do not respect boundaries.
Parents often want to be liked by their children, because of a low sense of self-esteem and self-worth. As parents, we would be more effectual if we found the affirmation and encouragement we rightly need from sources other than our children.
These thoughts were inspired after reading this excellent article by the secret teacher.