Recently, I overheard a conversation that made me think. I wasn’t eavesdropping (very strange word, there), I promise! I didn’t have my ear against a door so I could hear.
It’s kind of hard to not hear conversations while waiting in line at a store.
Two moms were discussing their children and at one point it was stated, “You’re her parent, not her friend.” I’m sure we’ve all heard that one before.
Dictionary.com states that a friend is:
1. a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.
2. a person who gives assistance or support
3. a person who is on good terms with another;a person who is not hostile
I know I’m going to get a lot of stern comments and crossed-armed angry looks, but why can’t we be both a parent and a friend? Don’t all of the above definitions fit what you feel for your child? Here is how I like to think of it. Keep in mind that I don’t always conform to the accepted rules of parenting. I like to break things down into layers.
I love, support, have emotional and affectionate attachment to my kids. I give them assistance and support. I’m usually on good terms with them and I’m very rarely hostile towards them. So, I’m a friend to them and they are a friend to me.
There is one big difference between my friendship with my kids and a friendship with a peer.
I’m the dominant friend. I’m the alpha friend. I’m the leader of the pack friend. I guide our daily life and ultimately make the decisions. But DANG IT ALL, I am a friend!
Being a friend with your child is not the same thing as letting them walk all over you. Don’t do whatever they want just so they will “like” you. But, do be a friend!
A few of my friends!