Parents also Friends?

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Parents also friends? Recently I have been asking myself this question as I am very close with my kids. I have read several articles about how it’s not okay to be your child’s friend in order to maintain proper authority over your children. If we coddle our children and consider them our friends, then we must not be doing our job as parents, right?

This mentality comes from the aftermath of a generation of self-involved, spoiled, and entitled young adults known as Millennials. This generation has a bad reputation, though to be fair, so did my generation. Generation X was otherwise known as the slacker generation so I don’t hold much stock in reputations. Anyway, we are still raising some of that generation. My oldest is a part of generation Y. He is none of the above things his generation is known for.

I keep seeing articles titled, “I am not your friend!” While reading the article I can see that the mom loves her children but she comes off as being somewhat of an overbearing person. I don’t believe that is the case but it got me to thinking. What does friend mean in the context of parenthood? Well, let’s start with the basic definition of what the term friend means. I looked this up and didn’t expect what I read:

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Do you see the first definition there? ONE ATTACHED BY AFFECTION OR ESTEEM. Here’s another one I came across: parentasfriend_rockinrandommom

Isn’t that interesting? Who woulda thought? It’s a bond. Now we each have our own definition of what a friend is and what kind of friendships we want in our lives. Typically, most of us define friends as someone NOT related to us who we have mutual affection for and a bond with. But these definitions include family. When we think of family though, we think of our siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles. We don’t think of our parents or children as friends.

Then I thought, well, what goes into a friendship? Friendship is more than just a bond. In order for that bond to even occur, you have to be there for one another. A friend is someone who listens to you. A friend laughs with you, argues with you, cries with you. Hmmm… I do all of those things with my kids.

Being a Mother First.

I always tell my boys that I am their mother first. I will always be their mother before anything else. They are well aware that I will put my parenting above everything and anything. It’s just that important to me that I raise kind but strong men. I am not a strict mother by any stretch.

I have very few rules. I am not a stickler for doing chores because I don’t ask them to do what I, myself, am not willing (or just too lazy-I mean, tired to do). There are three major rules that I have though that are of the utmost importance for them in life.

Rule #1:

Don’t talk back! Now of course, growing up, kids are going to do this. It’s part of the process of childhood. Pushing boundaries is a way of life for kids. I also encourage my boys to have their own opinions and to speak their minds. However, talking back is disrespectful and that is something I DO NOT tolerate in my house.

Rule #2:

When I ask you to do something, do it! This is another one that kids will argue about. They’re kids. If you’re a parent and you expect your kids to not moan and whine when they are asked to clean their room or brush their teeth, you’re in for a rude awakening. In their minds they have better things to do like play Minecraft or watch cartoons. That doesn’t mean I won’t get on their asses about it though. Again, it’s about respect.

Which leads to me to…

Rule #3:

Never Disrespect Me! I DO NOT, under ANY circumstances, tolerate disrespect (notice the theme here?). For most parents, this probably goes without saying. For me, it goes much deeper than that. I was never treated with any respect growing up. Because of that I will respect my children. I respect their privacy and their opinions, even if I disagree with them. Most important, I respect their feelings and their boundaries. In return though, I expect them to show me the same respect.

Because of these three golden rules I am raising two pretty great kids. I’m not a strict parent but I’m no pushover either and they know it. I allow them to be who they are. And you know what? Because of that, I have learned so much from them. I have learned to see the world through their eyes and boy is it amazing!

What about you? Do you agree or disagree with parents being friends.

Thanks so much for reading!

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I am linking with:

My Random Musings
Monday Stumble Linky
Burnished Chaos

 

 

 

 

 

22 thoughts on “Parents also Friends?

  1. I am my kids’ mother first… I am not my children’s friend in full friendship. That will come when they are older.

    My friends are the one’s I discuss my problems with – I would never dream of discussing my problems with my children. However, I love my friends dearly and hold them in high regard. I respect them, I tell them when I think they are wrong. I am there for them to cry to if they need that. In all these ways I am also my children’s friend but it comes under the description of being Mum.

    Oh, I know what I am trying to say but I’m not sure it’s coming across very well.

    1. No I get what you are saying. Yeah I don’t spill all of my problems to my boys. That’s not their job to do that but it is my job to be there for them so I get what you mean. I will always be there mother first before anything else and being there for them is included in that. It’s part of the parent role. Thanks so much for commenting!😊

    1. Parenting has to come first as it is our duty to them and to the world to teach them how to be respectful adults. For me, it’s not about so much being their friend as it is me recognizing that even though I am their parent first, I am also their friend. Thanks so much for reading and commenting:)

    1. I was raised in an authoritarian home myself which is why I am probably the polar opposite as a parent. I hated being seen as bad kid even though I wasn’t. My aunt always assumed that I was going to do something bad or I couldn’t be trusted. She always assumed I was a liar. For those reasons I guess is why I value children so much and I value respect. I respect my children as much as they respect me. In my mind that’s how it should be. Thanks so much for stopping by and for sharing a small piece of your story:)

    1. Being the parent first is always the way to go. What I am saying is though why does there have to be a label on it? Why does it have to be one or the other? I know a parents on both ends of the spectrum and neither is healthy for the parent or the child. I like my happy middle. I don’t know if I would call myself my boys’ friend as I always say I am their mother before anything else and they know that. However, if a parent does all the things a friend would do, like do fun activities with them and take them to fun places, that is being friend. When we listen to our kids when they have a bad day or are sad about something, that is being both a parent and a friend. I’m simply stating that their is only a small distinction between the two. As the parent, I lay down the rules. As the parent I take care of them when they are sick. I provide for them and discipline them when necessary. I advocate for them all the time. But I also have game night and movie night with them. I support their dreams and goals. I encourage them and am there for them. That is the middle ground. I won’t be the authoritarian parent but I also won’t be the pushover parent either. I’m content being in the middle because its a great compromise between the two. Thanks so much for reading and I very much value your opinion on the subject:)

    1. That’s how I look at it too. I will always be their mother first but I am also happy when I am being their friend. Thanks so much for reading!

  2. I think when it comes to parenting that it’s up to each individual parent to do what they think is best, without judging others. If you want to be your kids’ friend, be your kids’ friend. We’re all just trying to do our best and as a parent of a Millenial, I really resent that people think my child is a self-involved, spoiled, entitled young adult. He works hard, and he too does his best, despite society judging him simply because of the decade he was born in.
    Elizabeth recently posted…Win a box of Mirrie Dancers Chocolates worth £60My Profile

    1. I am raising a millennial too. He is on the tale end of that generation but I also know how his generation is being judged so harshly. However, I also think back when I was in high school and I remember my principal hating us because we were part of Generation X. We were called slackers. We were called lazy all the time. So when it comes to the Millennials I try to keep an open mind because while I know quite a few who are the poster children for what society says they are, I know a lot more who are hard workers and are just trying to live their lives like the rest of us. It’s hard for us to not judge but if we know we are doing it and we have an open mind, it can be easier, especially as a parent, to recognize that we don’t have to fit into a box in order to raise good kids who become good adults. Thanks so much for reading and for your lovely comment:)

  3. I think it’s fine as long as there’s a line. Like it’s great to be close and be able to talk openly etc. as long as the parent knows when to step up. It can be dangerous when the parent is more interested in being “cool” than actually parenting. It sounds like you’ve got the balance perfectly right
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes
    Debbie

    1. Yeah you make a very good point about that. Parents who are more interested in being the “cool” parent are missing out on the parenting part which is crucial for their children to grow into decent and respectful human beings. Thanks so much for having me and for reading!😊

    1. I hadn’t thought of the like part but yeah. I like my boys just as much as I love them. That is a very good way to put it. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  4. I think being a friend as well as a mother works for myself and my girls. We have a great relationship and they know they can come to me about any worries or problems they have. I have those same rules. My girls are never too keen on the “When I ask you to do something, do it” rule though. I always have to nag a little. lol
    Kim Carberry recently posted…Dyson Light Ball Multi Floor & V6 Cord Free Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner Bundle – Review!My Profile

    1. Lol so do I but I think as long as we expect them to push us a little we don’t get our expectations dashed and both us as the parents and them as the children can reach a reasonable solution. When it comes to cleaning their room my boys always give me a hard time and I find myself constantly trying to maneuver and compromise lol! Thanks so much for stopping by!😊

  5. I don’t think that we need to label every relationship. My wife is my friend and also my wife. My kid can be my kid and also my friend. I think that establishing authority and sticking to your rules are most important. At some point parents starting putting themselves ahead of their children and that is where this generation got spoiled. Too many shortcuts taken. #anythinggoes
    Jeremy@ThirstyDaddy recently posted…A Silent SidelineMy Profile

    1. I agree with you about the parents putting themselves before their kids. While it is totally okay to take a break (if you can swing it) and do little things for yourself in order to keep your sanity in check and what-not, I know many parents who take that mentality and run far far away with it and that’s not a healthy or beneficial thing for anyone, especially the kids. Thanks so much for your comment Jeremy!😊

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