My teens have lots of friends. I am not one of them.
Webster defines friend as "a person attached to another by feelings of affection, who gives assistance". Hmm...well, I guess that sounds like my relationship with my boys. MOST days I have affection for them, and I DEFINITELY give assistance...a lot.
Yet I am not friends with my kids. The way I see it, that's not my role. Parenting is an amazing experience and I'm so glad I've gotten to participate. It is the hardest job I have ever had. Being their friend would be so much easier.
When you're a kid, a friend is the person you hang out with, tell your deepest secrets to, and sometimes get in trouble with. But even though your friends have "feelings of affection" for you, they might not have your best interests at heart. That's where mom and dad come in.
Everyone parents differently, and I would never tell someone that they are doing it wrong. But for me, I can't try to be my kids' best bud or worry if they're going to be upset with me when I make the hard decisions. My boys are mad at me on a weekly basis. If you ask them, they will probably say daily, but we won't go there :). I don't like it, but it goes with the territory.
If I were to spend my time trying to be their friend, I'd lose sight of being their mom. And deep down, I think they both want me to be their parent. They want me to set boundaries, to point out that they're making a wrong choice, to guide them through these really hard years when they are becoming who they are destined to be. Right now they hate it, but someday they will thank me. And if you're reading, boys - a diamond necklace or a new car would be a nice thank you present :).
Being a parent instead of a friend doesn't mean they don't confide in me, laugh with me, and have fun with me. As I was writing this, my 16 year old called and gave me the "best mom" award because I offered to make him soup and grilled cheese when he got home from track practice. And we're not even friends!
I figure if I do the best I can to parent them now, they will grow up to be outstanding young men. The kind of young men that people want to be friends with. And THEN I can be their friend too.
Since I just started my blog, I thought it would be fun to post a picture each week from when my boys were younger. This picture was taken on Easter in 2001. C was 6 and T was 4. I think they got those shades in their Easter basket!