It’s easy sometimes to sell out your responsibilities to raising your kids because discipline might trigger you. Maybe you had a parent who was a little unreasonable with their discipline and you don’t want to do that with your kids—you want to do a better job. The problem is that sometimes dads want to be friends instead of dads. And the only way that your kids can really learn the lessons that you want them to learn is for you to get out of the way.
You don’t want to base your decision about how to discipline your kid on the abusive experiences from your own childhood. You want to be fair, you want it to be proportional, but you also want to draw a line that’s hard and fast. If you acquiesce, because you’re afraid of not being liked or repeating the abusive ways of your parents, then you’re likely to let your kids go, and they’ll learn that it’s possible to get one over on dear old dad.
Your job is to get out of your head, be the best and most authentic father you can be, and don’t worry about being a friend. Your kids will respect you, even if they don’t like you in that moment.