By Dr. Brian McDonough

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It is a problem anyone with children faces: where do you draw the line between being a friend and being a parent?

Certainly, it’s important as a parent to be a friend. It’s important to be able to provide concern and love and nurturing support, but at the same time, there are periods where you have to show discipline. You have to show your child that you are in charge. That’s a situation where many people get into trouble.

You need to have balance. It’s very important that you do this.

There is quite a bit of information in medical literature about this. The interesting point is there is general agreement that children understand when a parent needs to show discipline. They are able to process a parent’s role and, although they may be angry in the short-run, they actually understand in the long-run that it can lead to a stronger friendship.