As a parent, I don’t like to hear it, but sometimes, we’re the bad guy. In an age where parents want to be friends with their kids (and certainly there should be some element of friendship). However, sometimes, we need to be a bad guy in a good way. We need to be their scapegoat sometimes. Two stories that made me think of this lately.

The first is based on a segment by ABC News. They discussed some parents who allowed their kids to have sex with his/her significant other as long as the parent was home. ABC had a panel discussion with a group of parents and then with a group of teens. The parents’ discussion was what I expected. However, in the teen discussion, some of them said the allowance their parents were making actually added to the pressure to have sex. Before, they could have said, “my parents would kill me if I did it.” However, if the friends knew of the parent’s permissiveness, then they would feel more pressure to do it.

A second story comes from cell phone use. Parents sometimes say that cells aren’t allowed to be used at certain times or certain places. While some fight vigorously for their “right” to their cell, there are others who feel relieved not to be on 24/7 and always be connected.

While these are anecdotal examples, I wonder if there’s a subtle movement where teens don’t want to be pressured into what ‘s “normal”, but don’t really know how to handle it. Sometimes, as a temporary measure so they can sort through some of those thoughts and emotions at their pace, perhaps there are appropriate times for us as parents to be the bad guys.