What are we thinking

Shelly - posted on 02/06/2009 ( 13 moms have responded )

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What is going on with parents wanting to be a friend first and then think about being a parent. I have noticed on this site that alot of you when you have a problem with your child whether it be drugs or smart mouthing or ditching school we want everyone else to tell us how to be a parent. If we would act like parents first and a friend when it's warrented then we wouldn't have half of the problems that we have. They are children not miniture adults they don't have the brain capacity to make the decitions that a parent needs to make We are the adults lets act like it!!!

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 05/31/2011

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Well, Shelly, I don't know what anyone else is thinking, but I for one am not including myself with the "we" mentality. We have rules and expectations in my house, all which are adhered to. When i post on here, I certainly hope that I am not coming across as a wishy-washy parent.

However, that being said, I have never wanted my kids to fear me. If talking with them (like a friend would) is the think that fits the situation, then that is what is done. If "parental authority" is needed, then that is what happens.

I do agree that parents need to be parents, but parents don't need to be nazi's about parenting.

Everyone says that "what's missing from today's kids is respect", but how can you expect a teen to know what respect is and how to accomplish both respect for others and respect for self, if you, as the parent don't teach them? And, is a totally authoritarian approach really accomplishing what you want, or will you have kids who, once they get out of your house run entirely amok? I've seen it happen in the "total authority" households...

I would hope that my children DO see me as their best friend. The kind of best friend who isn't afraid to kick their butts when they do wrong/stupid things, but who will be there with a shoulder for support when needed, and will give good advice. At this point, my kids are ready for that, and it's working well.

Carrie - posted on 02/07/2009

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only responding to one thing you said"if we would act like parents first and a friend when it's warrented then we wouldn't have half of the problems that we have. "..........parents can only do so much..children just as adults experiment and are influenced by thier surroundings.one thing i find is some parents on here don't think back to when they were teens.all we can do is talk to them, steer them in the right way and hope they make the right decisions.

Elizabeth - posted on 05/29/2011

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I think you're looking at it very differently than I do. What is our goal as parents? Is it to make our kids behave and do whatever we tell them, or is it to raise people who can get along in the world? I AM my children's friend, but I am also their mother. Don't you ask your friends for advice? Don't you warn a friend when you think they are about to make a mistake? If you truly treat your children with respect, you can be their parent and their friend. I have a 13 and a 15 year old who have been unschooled most of their lives. I have allowed them to make choices on their own for many years. Nothing beats experience as a teacher. Yes, there are situations where safety requires that I be firm about certain rules, but my children understand the reasons for those rules. I have never been a 'because I said so' parent. I HAVE, however, used the "I'm older and have more experience, so listen to me" though. I know I am not a typical mother and frankly, I don't know if the unschooling approach would work for teens who are used to being told what to do all the time. They would probably go a little wild, at least at first. It's really something of a process to go from being authoritarian to consensual.

Jackie - posted on 02/07/2009

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I agree with what you are saying. But what I am trying to do is GUIDE...and not POLICE. my children. It is easy to police them. Give them a list of rules and then when they fail---punish them...and punish them hard.

I disagree with that kind of parenting. I think parenting like that is easier...but developes teens who know how to...obey...but not how to think and make decisions on their own.

I dont like the word PUNISH... I think concequences ae the way to go. And they need to be logical.

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Teri Ann - posted on 09/03/2012

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I have to agree with you on this one. You can be loving and firm and be a good parent. I agree with consequences for behavior. I would also say that giving a child too much is spoiling them if you are not giving them your attention and regular family time. I am not bragging but, I have parented for almost 31 years with my own and with foster kids...I am respected, loved, and we talk about everything under the sun...but I am the mom first and the friend next. My "kids" have lots of friends, but they only so many of me...It is a really short time from diapers to diplomas...You have such a short time to make a difference in a life. Don't be afraid to set limits, be firm, follow through, spend quality time and let them know they are loved daily. If there is a perfect balance, it would have to have all five!

Bonnie - posted on 06/01/2011

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Oh and another thing...
It is perfectly OK to dislike your kids as long as they know that you love them above everything. I have told my kids, "I don't LIKE you right now. I LOVE YOU, but I don't like you right now". That is usually in response to them being disrespectful or doing something foolish.

Bonnie - posted on 06/01/2011

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You are NOT your kids friend and having a healthy fear of Mom and Dad is not a bad thing. There is a difference between abuse and discipline. KNOW the difference, but if you haven't been practicing discipline from an early age, your kids are pretty much lost in that department.

Requiring your kids to do this thing or that thing is not torture or abuse. It prepares them for the REAL world. Do you think their boss is going to ask them nicely to do their job? Heck no! They will be given a task and EXPECTED to complete it. If you don't or haven't done this at home, how will your kid deal with this required part of their job when it is presented to them.

Our job as parents is to prepare them for their future as adults. How can you do that by coddling them?

By the time my boys were 13 they already knew how to do dishes, laundry, pooper-scoop, cook, vacuum, dust, and keep their rooms clean. They don't do these things all the time, cuz God knows their not perfect, but it prepare them for their furture lives.

Shelly - posted on 02/08/2009

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Thank you Sharon I was beginnig to think there wasn't to many of us left out here that want to parents first and friends later...

Sharon - posted on 02/08/2009

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bravo shelly burton.......everyone should remember who is the adult and who is the child and act accordingly. i  feel there is a fine line between parenting and being your childs friend but this fine line must not be crossed bottom line is respect this is what is missing in the children of today respect....bottom line for elders authority parents rules and disapline my kids are now 23 20 and 13 and i have 3 granchildren my  kids are now my best friends but they understand firstly i am their mother. they act accordingly and my daughter is bringing her girls up the same their is nothing my kids wouldnt talk to me about nothing i give them my friendly advise wether they decide to take it is up to them but i a, always here for them......friends have told me they resent me for the relationship i have with my kids ...... dont get me wrong we argue we have our moments but as i said respect they respect me firstly as their mum secondly as a friend two can go hand in hand all a matter of balance.

Natalie - posted on 02/07/2009

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What I have found with my friends is that when their parents are very strict, they are best friends with their child.  When their parents were very relaxed, they are strict with their children.  This is just what I have noticed with my friends/family... anyone else see a pattern like this?  Personally, my parents didn't care what I did or when I did it.  They rarely gave me consequences.  My kids are given rules and consequences every time they break those rules.  I am not their friend, I am simply their mother. 

Carrie - posted on 02/07/2009

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i agree with you,i know growing up my father was very strict.....i was afraid of him..i dont want my children feeling that way,guide them with loving and understanding hands.....and always remember they have to make mistakes to learn.just as we did.

Shelly - posted on 02/07/2009

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Carrie,



  Yes your right about steering them in the right direction the problem seem to come in when the teen makes a bad decision and we don't stand up and give out the punishment and act like a parent.  We try to be the friend and wring our hands and hope they don't hate us.  Well let me tell ya when my children tell me they hate me I figure I must be doing something right.  I'm not here to have my children like me I am here to make sure that they are healthy productive adults and not take up space in our prisons or in the welfare line...



I have a very good relationship with my 3 boys...Our oldest (22) has been away from home about 3 years and I hear from him at least every other day...and it's not because I acted like a friend...All of my boys know that I am thier parent first and then thier friend... 

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