Best friend or mommy?

Meghan - posted on 07/19/2010 ( 18 moms have responded )

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I am so inbetween on the issue. I really want to be a "friend" to J in the aspect that if he had ANY problems I would be there for him...as an ear, as a shoulder to cry on...
But I also want him to know that I mean buisness and there are rules-if he screws up I want to support him, but the hammer will come down so to speak.
So where is the line?

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[deleted account]

I don't think that you have to be a "friend" in the true sense. I think we need to be parents first.....parents that are open minded and non-judgemental who teach and guide our children. I believe that by communicating and treating your child with respect you will create the opportunity for that "friendship" you're talking about. If J respects you and TRUSTS you he will go to you with his problems.....he will cry on your shoulder! In order to gain his respect and trust you need to be a parent. You need to set clear boundaries, be open-minded, and provide a safe and nurturing learning environment. By starting young with J and providing him with a stable, structured environment you're well on your way to developing that "friendship" with him. I'm a strong believer in routine....it teaches them what comes next.....what to expect in life and they learn very quickly that mommy is the one who will provide them with that. It builds seld confidence and teaches them to trust you.

Good luck Megs....keep up the good work, mommy! ♥

Becky - posted on 07/19/2010

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There is no line. I think we can totally be friends and mommies at the same time, all the time. Albeit that sometimes my little buddies might not like my decisions, but my goal is for them to know that they can come to me for anything, that their feelings and needs matter, and that we will always try to do what is best for them. I explain to them that we are all a team, but me and daddy are the leaders. Not bosses, but leaders. That means we ultimately have the final say, but they're just as important and they play a part. I think they know I mean business because I am (try to be!) consistent with enforcing them, but I'm still nice (try to be, lol!) while I do it. I know I'm always preaching about Love and Logic on here, but the first rule of L&L is empathy. You give empathy BEFORE you deliver a consequence. They know you mean business because they just received a consequence for their behavior, but you gave them empathy, so your relationship didn't suffer too much ;-)

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[deleted account]

My mum still corrects me in her mother voice if I forget to say please and thank you ... even if I've been pretty polite asking a question. It's bloody annoying and I have told her off for it ... yet she still does!

Becky - posted on 08/15/2010

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Lucky you! My mom thinks positive discipline is ignorant and I need to "whoop" my kids like everybody else. Heck, her mommy spanked her and she appreciates her for it. Besides, its what God tells us to do. *head exploding*

[deleted account]

Oh GAWD! Lucky you! Haha, I'm 33! YAY US....my mom doesn't do that though. THANK GOODNESS! If anything my mom is so appreciative of what I've learned and how I've changed and she LOVES our chats about these topics.

Becky - posted on 08/14/2010

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Dana, I'm 32! By discipline, I mean she still tells me things like "Did you thank her for that?" or "Now go give your aunt a hug again." I guess she thinks I don't know how to be socially capable yet. She also likes to try to tell me what to do, how to discipine my own kids, and she wants me to let her know where I am and call her when I get home, things like that. lol.

[deleted account]

Children need rules and consequences. They test you to search for those things!

You can be both. Just know when to be the heavy and when to be the friend. If your rules and discipline come from a place of love, your child will sense it and love you for it.

Love is the strongest discipline.

[deleted account]

YIKES, she STILL tries to discipline you? Do you mind me asking how old you are? I'm just wondering if it's because you're still fairly young and she still sees her teenage daughter or if she just has control issues? *winks*



I can't imagine my mom disciplining me now.

Becky - posted on 08/13/2010

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JuLeah makes a good point, and I agree with you Meghan, I don't plan on having beers with my boys either, and I know I won't be the same kind of friend that they hang out with in school, but I can still be a friend, I think. I have a strained relationship with my mom as well. We are not close and she still very much tries to discipline me. Blah, its so annoying!

Meghan - posted on 08/13/2010

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I should add after my big rant (sorr) that I agree with you JuLeah,..just based on my relationshup with my mom, I have a hard time deciding where the line actually is!

Meghan - posted on 08/13/2010

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There are rules and I am very firm with them. My point was that I chose to treat him like a human being rather than get after him for every little thing!
As long as he doesn't break something or hurt himself or someone else, I kinda let him figure it out. I talk to him in the same tone I talk to you all (ha), my boss, my mother...a stranger on the street...afterall you can't turly change any human being whether it be a spuse or your child. He is very well mannered and has a great sense of humour. I don't plan on cracking a beer with him or letting him have raging house parties when he is older cause I am his friend and thats what he wants.
I just basically wanted to know what everyone else thinks about it. Can you laugh and joke and have fun more than be on their ass about every little thing?

JuLeah - posted on 08/13/2010

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Parents are not friends .... parents tell you when to go to bed and ground you when you skip school. He will have many friends in his life, but only one mother, so don't let him down :)



It is my hope to raise my child with kindness and respect, so that when she is an adult and no longer needs me to set her bed time or ground her for skipping school, we can form a friendship that will last the rest of her/my life.

Becky - posted on 07/21/2010

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Love it Riana! I think you nailed it, especially with that last paragraph!

To further extend on my post, being my boys' friend doesn't mean that I always do what they want or that they have as much decision-making power. It doesn't mean that I'm not a parent or less of a parent than a friend. It means that I am always keeping in mind our relationship. It means that I'm giving them the same respect that I would give my other friends. I listen to them, I consider their feelings, and I when I have to "exert my authority" I do so in a way that preserves our relationship because that is most important.

Thanks Riana!

Riana - posted on 07/21/2010

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Interesting post!

For me it is simple math, I only get to be a parent (in the traditional sense of the word as this is how it is referred to here) for 10-15 years of their lifes but I plan on being a part of their life for 40-50 years (60 if I'm lucky)

So yes with a tiny little baby you start off 100% parent but unless you gradually find the transition into friendship you will loose them. I find it sad how many of my friends have never been able to bridge the gap of authority with theit parents as they became adults. So they end up shutting them out as they are no longer prepared to be told what to do! I treasure the friendship I share with my own parents.

So I raise my kids as a parent but I never loose sight of the fact that I am first and foremost of all building on a friendship that needs to last a lifetime. Laying down the rules is always the second priority as there is more to life.

Emily - posted on 07/20/2010

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I consider myself mainly a parent and not a friend, but I consider part of my job as parent to be that listening ear and shoulder to cry on. It also means being consistent and having rules/limits. Being a parent means many things. I think that's why it can be so difficult and so awesome all at the same time.

[deleted account]

I believe you can be both.

The catch is not falling into the trap that if your child reacts/behaves negatively towards you that means they hate you and you must do everything they want to keep them happy.
You know that friend you loved to hate because they were almost down right annoying, but because you liked the attention you kept them. I think we all do something similar as a kid or are the other kid (the over pleaser).

When that line gets crossed then things fall apart because the balance between parent/friend is totally tipped to the friend side of things.

Like all things when it comes to parenting. It's about balance.

:)

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