Because I am Your Mother!

I spent the most delicious day yesterday hanging out with my ChatterBox. Very soon she will be 13. First of all – How did THAT happen? I remember when she was this cute little bundle of bald sleeping in my arms…. but I digress.

I must admit, I have fantastic, responsible, funny offspring. I truly enjoy spending time with them because they are fun. With that said however, I have had a conversation twice now with ChatterBox that disturbs me.

We were sitting in a restaurant, enjoy lunch when she announced that she was my best friend. WHAT? UM no… I AM YOUR MOTHER! So I launch into a tirade about the difference between moms and best friends…she said, “GEEZ mom, I was only joking and I get a lecture out it?”

Maybe it is because of life experience or maybe because of my job, I think there needs to be a clear and distinct line between Mother and Daughter. Tell me if I am wrong please, I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject.

There are topics of conversation that I would NEVER EVER discuss with my daughter. Sex being at the top of the list. Quite frankly, she does not need to be that familiar with my private side. Not that my best friend and I just talk about sex, we trouble shoot, empathize, commiserate and support each other in ways my daughter should never have to be concerned with. Conversely, there are topics that I do not want to hear out of my daughter’s mouth. Now when she is young, I want to know everything. When she is an adult, no thanks.

I think a mother and daughter should enjoy each other, love spending time together, laugh and be silly or cry and be serious. I think the mother role should be respected and not cross that friend line. I have witnessed mothers want to hang out with their teen and adult children at clubs and parties, it’s just not for me. I believe a parent should be separate from those activities so when the child needs you, the relationship isn’t scarred by mom wearing a lampshade at the Frat party the night before. That is when lines get blurred and child becomes the parent. I have seen it in my students. They are the caretaker because the parent wants to be the friend.

Get your own friends parents! Family time is different. Children need boundaries. They crave it. They want to know you are in control. Whether you are or not, if they perceive you as in control they feel secure and confident. This leads to a better sense of self. Say what you mean. Stand by your sentiments. If you say ” please stop or I will take away your…” and they don’t stop, TAKE IT AWAY! They have to know you are true to your word! Be the parent not the best friend.

Thoughts?

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14 thoughts on “Because I am Your Mother!

  1. you make some great points and are preaching to the choir in me; I see it often — and agree 100% — kids have friends, they need us to be parents FIRST 🙂 Cheers!

  2. hi i am back and what you said is so true . i think i was a mom and i hope my childern could talk to me if they had troubles

  3. I absolutely agree! This is one thing I am struggling with these days: their mother acts more like a friend, so when they are with me and I actually lay down the law – gasp! – they think I’m this mean guy and can’t wait to get back to mom’s house. It drives me crazy! But I’m sticking to my guns and continuing to reinforce those crucial boundaries.

  4. Interesting post! I’m definitely a parent first but do consider my kids friends and know they feel the same way about me (and their step-dad). We have a very open relationship that other parents have even commented about and wish they had. My kids have rules & guidelines, but to them I’m still the ‘way cool mom’ 😉 That being said, all but one (who is LD) are in honors or gifted & talented classes, they’ve never gotten in trouble at school, etc. Different parenting styles for different folks 🙂

  5. I know what you mean by “How did that happen”…my little girl is 21 now. You have heard that from before I think, but damn, it went so fast! You know what that means too though…we are that much older too…sucks don’t it? What gets me is when somebody says “Do you feel old”…I always say “Knowing I’m 41 doesn’t sound near as bad as knowing that I have been out of school for 23 years! Lol

  6. yup – super agree and would not have it any other way – I’m going for a open and respectful relationship, wiht boundaries…I’m still the boss in the end

  7. OH ET I can so relate…my sister is 13 going on 25 and it is so hard. She needs boundaries but she wants the independence without really earning the trust she just expects to carry on! Problem is mom does know what’s best for our little dear heart.

    My sister got grounded from technology. That was enough to straighten her out! Just a thought. The point was made and she got the picture. Hold to your guns ET. Follow your gut on this one. Your daughter has only one set of parents to keep her straight….there is room to be friends later.
    xoxo

  8. I see your point, but I think there is a way to be friends and mother/daughter. My mom is one of my very closest friends, but I do treat her like my mother, with respect. And, growing up, I would always listen to her. It’s just trying to walk that fine line. You don’t want to be your daughter’s friend at the expense of being her mother, and as your daughter gets older, a natural friendship may develop. The older I get, the more my mother is a friend and a confidant, as well as my mother.

  9. Totally agree on the boundaries and that there are things better left to age-apprpropriate friends, for both you and her. That said, sounds like she was only joking so cut her some slack.

    My Little One (14 year old boy) and I have a “we’re best friends” pact that I started when he was very young. We both know it’s semi-joking and he never doubts that I am the authority. It started as a joke because he was a difficult baby and I tell him he’s lucky he had me to care for him when nobody else wanted to be around him.

    Don’t push her away Mom.

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