When I asked my mom, "What kind of advice would you give to all parents?" her answer blew me away.
It was the first time I had heard her articulate her parenting strategy to me, and I gained a far deeper understanding of why she raised me the way that she did.
We could all benefit from her wisdom.
My mom's biggest recommendation is this: Be friends with your children.
If you assert your dominance as the parent and demand that your kids listen to you, it will be tough to establish a good relationship with them.
Your children will be asked to be your source of happiness, to meet your expectations, and they will probably give up because they will never succeed.
When you're thinking from the perspective of being their friend, you won't take things too seriously. Friendship isn't dependent upon someone reaching a certain level in life or achieving a particular goal.
If you assert that you're right and your children are wrong, then there will be a lot of fighting, conflict, and ignoring each other at home, which can last for weeks, months, and years.
These relationship standoffs are the most painful and draining. There will be no happiness.
If you want your children to respect you, then you must respect their perspectives and choices first.
Meet them where they are at.
The best strategy for parenting is to get along with your children and to be their friend. This is the surest way everyone will live in harmony.