Kristina Kuzmic explains her no-nonsense parenting beliefs and why she isn’t “pals” with her children in a new online video called “I’m not your friend, kid! (Because I love you.)”
The well-known YouTube personality posts about the struggles, joys and hilarity of motherhood on her channel. In her recent video, which has garnered over 442,000 views, Kuzmic makes a definitive parenting statement – she is not friends with her three young kids.
“I make videos I’m passionate about and this is something I’ve seen as a parenting trend,” Kuzmic, 37, tells PEOPLE. “Parents are like, ‘I don’t want to hurt my kids’ feelings, so I’m not going to go through with this consequence.’ Parents nowadays are overly concerned about their kid liking them.”
She adds, “But I’m not a buddy to my children, my kids aren’t my friends! I care about them being good people rather than them being a fan of me.”
In the video, Kuzmic says all three of her kids – Ari, 2, Matea, 11, and Luka, 13 – are upset with her for “parenting them.”
“I am not their buddy!” she says while scooping ice cream from a carton and looking into the camera from her Valencia, California, home. “I am their parent.”
“Loving them does not mean making sure they’re always happy and making sure they get every little thing they want,” she explains in the clip. “Loving them means raising them into healthy, decent human beings who I would actually want to hang out with some day. That’s what loving them means.”
Kuzmic says she has received backlash from commenters for some of her more controversial statements in the video post, like: “I am not their friend, I am the authority. My child’s well-being is more important to me than my child’s opinion of me.”
But the star stands by what she says.
“My generation grew up with super strict parents who were over controlling and now parents are trying to do the complete opposite because they felt like they didn’t have a fun childhood,” says Kuzmic. “The trick is not to go one way or the other, but to find a balance. The fact of the matter is I’d rather my kid be happy and a decent human being in the long term than happy with me in the short-lived fleeting present and bratty in the future.”
Kuzmic decided to make a follow-up video following a slew of questions from commenters wanting further explanation on her original May 16 post.
In “Not your friend, kid, but always your ally!” which she filmed on May 26, the mom explains that while she isn’t friends with her children, she is – and always will be – their ally.
“Some people believe you can be a parent and a friend to their child at the same time. My opinion? No!” she says in the clip. “I can empower my children without giving them the power to rule over me.”
“I made this second video because I wanted to clarify what I was trying to say in my first video,” says Kuzmic. “Being an ally is different than being a friend. I am a mentor to my kids – I guide them with love. They aren’t friends I confide in with deep secrets or vent about stressful situations.”
“The thing is, I’m far from being a perfect parent myself,” she adds. “I’m not some expert, I’m just trying to give an opinion on an important subject.
"Parenting is really, really hard! There are no right or wrong answers.”