Wednesday, July 28, 2010

We Ain't Friends

**we definitely need an updated photo of the three of us. This was taken two years ago.

We’re family and I am the head of this family.

I am far from being the perfect parent so I am not about to bash anyone else’s parenting style but I cannot find the added value in becoming your child’s friend. They have enough friends.

The relationship that my children have with their friends is necessary and unique. They need people to share their secrets with. They need someone to send thousands of texts to on a daily basis. They need peers to cosign when they are doing something stupid. They need a shoulder to cry on when that something stupid blows up in their faces. That’s what friends are for.

The relationship that my children have with me is also necessary and unique. They need me to guide them. They need me to set boundaries. They need me to reinforce the rules. They need me to encourage and love them no matter what stupid thing they’ve done. They also need me to buy the food, pay the tuition and tell them when the television is too loud at 1:00 am.

My kids are awesome people. I’m tearing up just thinking about them. They mean everything to me. They are the reason that I breathe. I work hard because of them. I do things “the right way” because I want to set a good example. I am their first teacher and they look to me for the answers.

I am the mother. Not the friend.

We do things that friends do. We hang out together at restaurants and movies. We shop together. We have movie nights at the house together. We’ve cleaned the backyard together. And most of these activities are not initiated by me. They seem to actually enjoy my company and I enjoy theirs. It’s a pretty cool balance actually.

But there is no mistaking, who is running this kingdom. I know it and more importantly, they know it. They respect me and my authority and neither one of them crosses the line. They may test the boundaries but I always let them know if they are dangerously close to getting knocked the hell out. Figuratively, of course. In my opinion, it’s dangerous when parents try so desperately to be a friend instead of a parent. Boundaries get clouded and I’ve seen children speak to their parents any kinda way because of it. The one thing I cannot tolerate is a disrespectful child.

So yeah, I love my kids but we ain’t friends.

9 comments:

princessdominique said...

Love this Chele and I agree, I've taken the same stance. I think when you step into the parent role somehow they end up appreciating and enjoying your company more than if you try to make it happen that way. At least that's been my experience. Congrats on the great job you've done!

TJ said...

Children need boundaries and respect for authority. I love my children and we hang out sometimes, but I am not their friend. at all.

Diva (in Demand) said...

I love when you write about your family. The relationship you all have with each other sounds great...especially how THEY suggest hanging out with you.

Remnants of U said...

This right here...wonderful, it is my kind of parenting.

Wanda said...

AMEN!!

Anonymous said...

Girlfriend I AGREE...I tell my boys ALL.THE.TIME we are NOT friends...I LOVE you both and would take someone OUT for the both of you....

but we are not friends...not on facebook or any other social network.

if you wanna know what i'm doing....come and talk to me...

and to my 22 year old....don't show up where me and the girls are having our let.our.hair.down.cocktails...I don't care how HANDSOME the girls say/think you are....

I FEEL YOU

Dee in san diego

LadyLee said...

That was good right there, Oldgirl. That right there was from your heart of hearts. Loved it.

Single Ma said...

We are >>here<<

This One Woman said...

I agree 100% with this post.