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  • Dr. Henry J. Svec

Leadership Parenting: Why Your Child Shouldn’t Like You

Parenting is a tough job. Deep down you want not only what is best for your child but to make sure that they avoid many of the struggles and pain you felt growing up. You want them to have everything they need and want and will sacrifice to make sure that happens. Part of you wants your child to like you. Part of you may even want to be their friend or buddy. But is that really what is best for your child?

Leadership Parenting is about doing the right things to help your child grow, develop and become an amazing self-confident, independent adult. It is also why your child can never be your friend and on most days won’t like you very much. It’s not something most parents want but something they must do.

If you agree and start on the road to Leadership Parenting techniques your child will not like you on most days. They will have to do chores around the house, work for their allowance and hear the word “no” quite a bit. They will have to save up to buy the things they want and will have to donate to charity and their community at an early age.

You will have to understand that as the parent of the house you are in charge. You will always be in charge even if they come home or visit during a break from school or later with your grandchildren.

The first question I have for you is “Are you ready to live a parenting life that means your child won’t like you most of the time?” They will certainly love you but at times it won’t seem that way. They will tell you that few of their friends have to work for their allowance, or do chores around the house, or build a vegetable garden to help feed the family, or get a job in the summer, or donate to charity. But none of that will matter to you if you choose the Leadership Parenting path.

If you are willing to start let me help you. Twice a month in this column I’ll lay out the steps to help you parent with courage. We’ll start next time with the first important step learning to say “no” to your child. Until then keep your head up and be strong.

Dr. Henry J. Svec is the author of Don’t be a Wimp Raise a Strong Leader: Parenting Strategies from Conception to Late Adulthood and is a Clinical Psychologist in Private Practice at

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