Tuesday, February 5, 2008

News&Buzz: Boundaries for single parents

Single dad Peter Ehrlich, a columnist for the Toronto Star, writes about boundaries today, ruminating over wanting to hang out with his 17-year-old son yet be the dad. He asked David Wolfe, chair of the Children’s Mental Health at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, for advice on single-parent-and-child boundaries.

Wolfe suggests this (which, actually, applies to all parents): "There is nothing wrong with saying you're friends with your child, but as an adult, not on the same level as peer friends. Boundaries are required.

“Children want us to be parents,” he says. “Parents need to stick to their generation so their teenage children can have theirs – their clothing, hairstyle and music. Moms shouldn't be making an effort to run out and try to look like their daughters, getting a navel piercing or whatever, and men 50-plus shouldn't be hanging out in muscle shirts.

Erlich says he’s got no plans to stop singing ‘70s songs with his son and his son’s friends – but he’ll leave the room after the music ends.

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