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Moms with Teens Moms with Teens

We are their parents NOT their friends

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I keep wondering when parents are going to wake up. Why do kids get to decide what they get to do and what their punishment will be? I know I didn't. My parents let us know the rules right off and what would happen if we broke them. Also they told us don't be using that, "my friends parents......." because they didn't want to hear it. Have read many a post where I wonder WHAT THE HELL are the parents doing? This is just my thoughts.
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by on Jun. 23, 2012 at 6:09 PM
Replies (11-20):
mumsy2three
by Shauna on Jun. 24, 2012 at 10:06 AM

I think you can be both and completely agree with what Fammathews said.

I absolutely agree that you have to have rules, boundaries and need to parent your kids, I also believe that you can be a friend to your kids too.

mcr17
by on Jun. 24, 2012 at 10:09 AM

you're actually their parent AND their friend. but the parent part should come first.

lucky2Beeme
by Gold Member on Jun. 24, 2012 at 10:24 AM
1 mom liked this

I think your thoughts is pretty common. There are many parents that do the Friend thing. Thankfully I think most parents still parent. We hear more about the friends types because the kids end up in trouble and such. Bad behavior is always more news worthy than Good behavior.

mumsy2three
by Shauna on Jun. 24, 2012 at 10:43 AM


Quoting lucky2Beeme:

I think your thoughts is pretty common. There are many parents that do the Friend thing. Thankfully I think most parents still parent. We hear more about the friends types because the kids end up in trouble and such. Bad behavior is always more news worthy than Good behavior.

So true!

annie2244
by Silver Member on Jun. 24, 2012 at 11:11 AM
1 mom liked this

I'm making competent adults thru a respectful process. Which means my teens and the DH and I negotiate, with parents having line item veto power if it comes to that. This is respectful. The debate helps them learn how to negotiate respectfully, helps them internalize the values underlying the rules, provides a useful transition from the parent-small child relationship of kindly spoken edicts, to teen-parent negotiations with more room to make errors (providing useful fodder for the socratic engagement), to adult parent-adult kid relationship of respectful distance from day to day decisions. I love when they say "other kids can" b/c it's a great opener to a discussion of pros and cons of living under different rules, and what conditions need to be present for me to move off my view to one closer to the one they wish.

A household of edicts until they are 18? It implies my views are 100% correct. It implies by just resentfully suffering through my edicts the kids will incorporate them into their own view. How does that prepare them for competent adulthood? Wasted opportunity to learn valuable skills and mold their views.

sunflowers12
by on Jun. 24, 2012 at 1:14 PM
Each to there own... And I am glad it worked for your parents... We live in a different eara now where many if our rights as parents have been taking away... What our parent/ grandparents did back in the day are criminal now!! Beating your kids with switches, making them stay out side all day not getting what is concidered normal care...

My dh was a 50s baby n the things parents did then would get their kids taking away now!! When a 12/17 year old can get pg n go behind parents back n get abortions n whatever else it takes away our rights as parents... Now my kids pretty much do what they know to do but I have not had beat them down like in the ol days.. but I guess it also depends on the family too.. I have also seen parents that believe their kids are perfect behind their back they are doing all sorta things they wouldn't like...

I think its fair to say that we should all be paying close attention to our own and less to others that way its hard to look like a hypocrite... I so believe you should always parent first friend later... But this is just me...
PinkieRed
by on Jun. 24, 2012 at 1:43 PM
I agree with this, although I'm not so sure about the anxiety and depression.

Are there really "more" teens suffering from mental health issues now, or is it that we (society) is just more open about discussing such things? In generations past, problems like depression were often just ignored and swept under the rug. I think people are more open today to discussing those problems today, and to getting help for them. They don't carry as much stigma as in years past.

And if there really are more depressed and anxious teens, well, no wonder. Society has become much more complex than since most of us were kids/teens, and family and community ties are weaker. We've become a much more hyper competitive society here in the US, there's much more pressure on teens to be perfect, get the best GPAs, get into the best colleges, etc. We have high stakes standardized testing from very early grades, we tell our teens that if they don't get into a good college, they won't have any chance of success in life.

At the same time, people live much busier, yet insular lives. Many more people live far from family, live in neighborhoods where they don't know their neighbors, and have to have two parents in the workforce, working too many hours, just to afford a decent standard of living. We also have the unique pressures and problems that come from social media, which simply did not exist in the past. No wonder so many teens are depressed and anxious.

I know I would not want to be a teen these days. I'm glad I grew up in a time before the Internet, social media, high stakes testing, etc.


Quoting boys2men2soon:

I tell my sons' that friends will come and go throughout life.   I'm the only Mother they will ever have....and I will be here til the end.

I think a lot of parents are kinda afraid of their kids.  They don't want to make them mad or stress them out.   I sorta get it; there are many more teens with anxiety and depression than I remember from my day.  When I was a teen, most parents just said "you'll get over it"...and we did.     Nowadays, the kids end up in therapy.

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mumsy2three
by Shauna on Jun. 24, 2012 at 2:25 PM
1 mom liked this

My thoughts exactly! Mental health issues still carry a stigma with them but I think we are way ahead of where we used to be when it comes to being and accepting diagnosis that have to do with mental "illness".

Quoting PinkieRed:

I agree with this, although I'm not so sure about the anxiety and depression.

Are there really "more" teens suffering from mental health issues now, or is it that we (society) is just more open about discussing such things? In generations past, problems like depression were often just ignored and swept under the rug. I think people are more open today to discussing those problems today, and to getting help for them. They don't carry as much stigma as in years past.

And if there really are more depressed and anxious teens, well, no wonder. Society has become much more complex than since most of us were kids/teens, and family and community ties are weaker. We've become a much more hyper competitive society here in the US, there's much more pressure on teens to be perfect, get the best GPAs, get into the best colleges, etc. We have high stakes standardized testing from very early grades, we tell our teens that if they don't get into a good college, they won't have any chance of success in life.

At the same time, people live much busier, yet insular lives. Many more people live far from family, live in neighborhoods where they don't know their neighbors, and have to have two parents in the workforce, working too many hours, just to afford a decent standard of living. We also have the unique pressures and problems that come from social media, which simply did not exist in the past. No wonder so many teens are depressed and anxious.

I know I would not want to be a teen these days. I'm glad I grew up in a time before the Internet, social media, high stakes testing, etc.


Quoting boys2men2soon:

I tell my sons' that friends will come and go throughout life.   I'm the only Mother they will ever have....and I will be here til the end.

I think a lot of parents are kinda afraid of their kids.  They don't want to make them mad or stress them out.   I sorta get it; there are many more teens with anxiety and depression than I remember from my day.  When I was a teen, most parents just said "you'll get over it"...and we did.     Nowadays, the kids end up in therapy.


MrsBLB
by on Jun. 24, 2012 at 3:24 PM

Absolutely

Quoting fammatthews4:

In my opinion you can be both. Think about what a friend is. To me a friend is someone you enjoy being around and having fun with. We have that with our kids. We all enjoy hanging out and doing things together, they do things with their friends too but they spend time with us as well without grumbling. A friend is also someone you talk to when you have a problem and need advise/ guidance on something. Our kids come and talk to us, ask our advise and listen to our opinions. Being a parent means you have rules and there are consequences if the rules are broken. You don't worry about making them mad by enforcing the rules. I do this too.
So yes I do believe you can be both, there is a balance and it's possible to find it.


dobrd
by on Jun. 24, 2012 at 6:16 PM

Shea1967, I totally agree w/you.. Our kids were raised to already know what to expect if they got themselves into semi/serious stuff.. I could care less what their friends' parents said, or allow their kids to do.. I've taught our kids that they need to: 'THINK OF THE AFTER BEFORE, NOT THE BEFORE AFTER'' They teach their own kids the same things.. I also, told them, 'I HAVE BEEN YOUR AGE, YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN MINE'.. I agree that, we are their PARENTS not their FRIENDS'' On the same note, all our kids' friends were always at our house.. Same rules applied, so, it was up to them to enforce them w/their own friends.. We do the same w/our grandkids.. Take Care, Donna....

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