Monday, March 28, 2011

The Shift

I have said many times on this blog and to anyone that would listen that I have absolutely no desire to be friends with my children. In my opinion, they have enough friends. What they need from me is to be a strong parent.

I have seen too many parent-child relationships go up in flames because the parent placed too much emphasis on being friends instead of being a parent. Children need boundaries and their friends don’t set or honor boundaries. Children need structure and that can only come from their parents.

While I still stand by that, I have noticed a shift in the relationship that I have with my daughter. Because I’m now able to view her as a young woman and not a child, I feel as though I can trust her more and I find myself lightening up. I’ve discovered that trying to monitor her every movement is a waste of time and exhausting. She will gravitate towards whatever I try to keep from her and no matter how much I pray that she’ll make the right decisions – the ultimate decisions are still hers.

She’s a good person with a huge heart and a great sense of humor. She’s smart, sensitive and thoughtful and if I wasn’t her mother she would be someone I’d love to call “friend”. We laugh easily together and we actually have real conversations. I really enjoy being around her.

There is nothing easy about being a mother to a teenaged girl. I think it is for that reason that God decided to give me a daughter. Because I used to be teenaged daughter and I know raising me was no picnic. I really hope when the time comes that my daughter only has sons.


EmptyNester said...

Hubs and I have four daughters and I had a blast raising them- even through the teenage years...somehow, none of them became difficult during these years which is a complete blessing because I was not easy while I was growing up! LOL

Yvonne Hall said...

I beg to differ with you, my dear, concerning what it was like raising a teen-aged daughter as that term refers to you. You were a joy to be around. You were always well-behaved and respectful. You followed the rules and more or less did what you thought I expected of you. Now don't get me wrong, you weren't perfect, and I can imagine there were many things that you probably did or did not do that I just don't know about. Nevertheless, I was and still am proud to have been your Mom through your baby days, through your toddler days, and through your teen years. Ironically, you became more of a problem after you were grown and out of the house (LOL)> it seemed like now that you were out of the house you were free to do what you couldn't do under my roof--exert your independence and be your own woman. But, I'm still proud to be your Mom. I love you.

Thoughtsofsoutherngal said...

I love the fact that your mom comment! Nice!

Ca88andra said...

I think the older your children get the more your relationship does shift. I've always been a parent to my boys, but I think we are also friends in a sort of way. Now they are all adults we sometimes go out together and I enjoy their company.

Icey said...


Now that my daughter is on her own our relationship is lots easier. She understands the reasonings behind my rules now.

Icey said...

How awesome is it that your mother commented!

Single Ma said...

Oh my goodness! I was JUST tweeting about this yesterday. I completely understand how you feel. I've always told my daughter "I'm not your friend and I will never try to be," but nature has a way of proving me wrong. Now that she's 18 and in college, I feel our relationship shifting. And I kinda like it. LOL

Instead of dictating, I guide. Instead giving her rules, I give her advice. Instead of punishing when she breaks a rule, I ask her how does she feel and what has she learned when she doesn't take my advice. Instead of talking, I listen. Instead of trying to prevent her from making mistakes, I observe as she learns many life lessons. My baby is now a young adult, and I'm learning that it's ok to be mommy AND friend.

Love your mom's comment. :-)