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Caroline Manzo: Be a Mother, Not a Friend

The NJ 'Wife shares her secret to a healthy mom/daughter relationship.

Give me one word to describe what Caroline Manzo is all about.

Yeah, I said "family" too.

The Real Housewives of New Jersey matriarch shares a close bond with her kids Albie, 24, Chris, 22, and Lauren, 21 (they're "thick as thieves," 'memba?) But how did Caroline survive the occasional "I-want-to-pull-my-hair-out" moments that strike parents of adolescents, especially teen daughters? 

"To maintain a healthy relationship there must be open communication," Mama Manzo explains in her weekly column for MSN's Glo. "Ask questions and listen. Laugh together, make time for her, and give her your undivided attention during those moments. Give her room to grow, and let her experience some growing pains along the way."

Sorry, Bethenny. The Skinnygirl mogul recently said she and daughter Bryn are "going to be little best friends," but Caroline waves a huge red flag at that notion. "You're not your daughter's 'friend'; you're her mother. The chain of command always has to be in place and should never be crossed," the no-nonsense redhead says.

Although teenagers tend to think they're always right, Caroline notes mistakes will be made on their part (gasp!). When that happens, you should be there to explain to your child where they went wrong. "Love, hugs, laughter and discipline are key ingredients in developing and maintaining a healthy relationship with your child."

What do you think? Can parents be "friends" with their children, or does Caroline's "chain of command" come first? Start a Tweet Battle and make your case.

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