Somewhere in the past 30 years, parents have lost their way. Somewhere along the way parents became more concerned with being their children's friend than with being their parent. I want to let you in on a little secret: Your child doesn't need another friend; he needs a parent.
There's nothing wrong with sharing fun times and laughter with your kids. In the end, though, your role is that of parent -- someone who guides, sets limits and loves unconditionally. When we strive to be our child's friend instead of her parent, we blur the lines of responsibility and set our kids up to be confused.
When you act like your child's friend instead of his parent, you make it difficult for him to respect your authority. Without that authority, we will find it difficult to set limits and make them stick. It's hard to administer discipline that means anything without that authority.
When we become more concerned with whether our children like us than we are with teaching them what's right, that's a problem. There are going to be times as a parent where your children don't like you. They won't like your rules or your discipline. Those are the moments to hold firm and grow a thick skin. Proverbs 13:24 says "Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them." Now, this verse isn't advocating beating your children. It's simply stating that discipline is part of loving your kids. It's impossible to effectively administer discipline if you are more worried about your children liking you than you are in molding their character.
Enjoy your children. Have fun with them. Laugh with them. Encourage them. Share in their joys and sorrows. Through it all, remember your primary role is that of parent. Don't compromise your ability and God-given role to help your children grow and become the person God wants them to be by trying to be their friend instead.