Meh... You can be a friend and a parent to your kids. The part of the story where the Dad scores big points with the crowd because he fired the gardener and made his teenager do all the yard work that summer only made me wonder where Dad was before that ? NO kid is going to talk to his Dad like that if he is raised to respect and is in turn respected. Lately there has been a spate of Youtube videos and pictures of parents "Kid Shaming". One girl's Mom made her carry a sign around saying she was a "bully". From the comments by adults who saw this , you would have thought this Mom was doing a fantastic job ! I could only wonder why "shaming" your kid was such good parenting? It seemed to me that the Mom was bullying her daughter and she was probably the role model for the girls bullying behavior in the first place. A youtube video had a Dad shooting a girls laptop because she was on FB or something. Again applause from supposed adults, this made the national news and was applauded all over. Destroying members of your family's property is considered domestic violence by many professionals. It often serves as a way to control others, but it is also used to create fear in the victims because they will identify with their property. When the Dad put a bunch of bullets in the laptop it sent a clear message to the girl... "you could be next" ! I do friend stuff with my boy all the time, it does nothing to hurt my parenting relationship with him. Parenting is guiding and educating your kid not making his life miserable and staying aloof. Doing friend stuff is a way to bond and enjoy each others company, it isn't a bad thing.