Where do you draw the line between being a friend to your child and being their parent?
Worst mistake you can make, be your kid's best friend. Also making your child your whole world. Your child suffers from both. They don't respect you in the long run and they will manipulate the crap out of you and walk all over you. And then they leave, and if you have made their life YOUR life, you have nothing left.
Be a parent first, a friend when they are a fully-functioning adult... and always, ALWAYS be YOU. For the benefit of everyone, but especially for yourself.
They are two seperate things in my book. Being a parent always come first.
I'm my kids' parent. I might be their friend years and years from now, but not now. We are not equal. I pour love and patience and kindness and routine and discipline into them right now in the hopes of helping them become fully functioning independant confident adults.
I am their protector. I am their confidant. I am their confessor, their first, best, and most trusted teacher. I am their cheerleader. I am their roots. Very low on the list, I am their friend. (sort of) The relationship is too one sided to be a real friendship yet.
My friends really care about my troubles - I shield my kids from the worst of that - my friends see it all. My weakness won't make my friends feel unsafe or insecure - my kids aren't ready for that.
I believe that you can be both but you have to be the parent first. It isn't going to be a 50 50 thing it has to be more parent than friend. You have to be the one in control but in a way that creates and open relationship.
No, I am not my kids friend, I never was especially when they were growing up. I personally feel that the "friendship" phase of our relationship happens when they're self sufficient and living on their own. Right now they're 22 and 20 and my role has shifted from a full-time parent to being that parent they come to when they need to discuss things, instead of me being the one to always be the first one to want to discuss things. I firmly believe that we can't be "friends" until you truly understand what it means to take care of yourself and you can do it without issues. Now, with that being said, if they're still living with me in a few years then I'm sure my role will have changed some. But I still have set rules in my home and they're not allowed to have their boyfriend/girlfriend spend the night at my house. You want to do that, then get a room.
I draw the line when it comes to discipline, you can't be afraid that they won't like you because you need to take away privileges. I let my children know that they can awlays come to me with a problem any time, that's where I'm their friend.
My mother is my best friend. She has been since I was a girl, I don't honestly ever remember it being different. But I couldn't tell you the line. I could always talk to my mother about anything. I still can. I'm trying to be the same with my daughter. She's still young, almost 6, but I put being a parent first. Her safety and well being always my first priority.
I am her MOTHER.
You can't be your child's friend.
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