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I think most of the time, and especially when the children have grown up a bit, it's possible to be both. Still, sometimes it's definitely more important to be a parent because children need discipline and it's impossible to do that if the parent their friend first. I think parent first, but friend as well - but I suppose there will be some situations where the parent just has to be a parent and not a friend. I guess it depends on the parent, the children, and how good their relationship is.

Having said that, though, I think you can be friends with your parents in a way that they're still your parent first and foremost - it's not going to be the same sort of friendship as you might have with your peers or even with older people who aren't relatives. It will always be uneven. the vast majority of parents wouldn't share their problems with their children or phone up their children in tears (when they're older) but would expect their children to come to them with their problems no matter what age they are. I think it means a different thing to be a friend to your children/parents than it does to be friend in the general sense.

I have no idea how coherent that was. Basically, I think parent first and sometimes parent-friend hybrid.
 
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