Two Teens And Their Mama: I'm Not Your Friend...I'm Your Mom

Thursday, April 24, 2014

I'm Not Your Friend...I'm Your Mom


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.



Throwback Thursday 

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!


22 comments:

  1. Lana - I LOVE LOVE LOVE this post!!! Excellent words of wisdom. I'm in the homestretch with my youngest who's 18, but my daughter and I are finally classified as friends (she's almost 24) - I retain my mom card for when she needs me to play it from time to time, but that's usually at her request. It stinks when you're not the cool mom because you didn't get mother/daughter tatoos together LOL! Staying the course is hard - that friend thing is a cop out and much easier than actual parenting.

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment! I agree it's hard not being the cool parent. Hopefully it will pay off in the end!

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  2. Such great wisdom. My parents were not my friends growing up - and now they're great friends of mine. I enjoy spending time with my kids, but I am the parent, and we never lose sight of that.

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    1. I appreciate you stopping by! Thanks for the nice comment.

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  3. Handsome boys and great advice. The teen years are tough(: Blessings! susan

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    1. Thank you so much - I think they're pretty cute!

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  4. Great post, I agree with you, I was mom first and then friend. Now that they are grown, it is wonderful to be their friend.

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    1. Thank you for commenting! I'm so glad to hear from moms who have made it through the teen years in one piece!

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  5. Although I am not a parent (yet), I will definitely remember this advice. While I never considered my mom a friend as a teenager, I now count her as one of my closest in adulthood. I think too many people focus on placating their children instead of preparing them to be well-adjusted adults.

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    1. I agree. I know so many people who want to be the cool parent and forget what their real job is. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  6. I couldn't agree more! I truly hope to be able to be my daughter's best friend, but not until she's an adult. She'll have LOTS of friends, but she'll only have one mom and it's my job to parent her, even though that means she won't like me sometimes!

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    1. It's hard when they are mad at you, but I know in the end it's the right thing to do. Thanks for the comment!

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  7. Great post! I agree with you 100%. I will be friendly to my daughter, but not her friend. Your post reminded me of a few parent meetings that I had a few years back. So many parents are so worried about their child getting angry with them that they take on this best-friend role. What they fail to understand is that they are actually doing a disservice to their kids. I remember a conference that I had with a parent about her daughter's revealing attire. Imagine the look on my face when the mom walked in dressed like the daughter. Apparently she was a "cool parent" who hung out with her daughter at parties. The saying goes that if your child at some point in his/her young life (especially the teen years) hates or stops talking to you, that you are doing a great job! :-)

    #SitsShareFest

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    1. I like the last line in your comment - it's so true! I commend you for dealing with parents in your job - that must be interesting! Thanks so much for stopping by & commenting.

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  8. As a former middle school teacher I truly appreciate this post! Too many parents try to be their children's friend and that often leads to parenting decisions that aren't the greatest...so thank you for sharing!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment!

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  9. Very well said! I am 100% in agreement with you. You will respected more in the long run being the mother instead of the friend during these years. I have seen it go so wrong when women do it the other way around!!

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    1. Thank you! It's hard now but I'm hoping it pays off later.

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  10. Kids need a friend in you more than anything else. Have different tones of voice and actions, for instance, when you are being a friend to your child, use certain phrases, but never repeat them when mad, or visa versa.
    Kids need parents too, but never mix those two toghether. For instance, I was watching a TV Show today. In the show, the daughter was telling her mother how a cute boy at school asked her to feed and care for his horse for a week, and she was excited that he asked her. The mom tunrned it into "How come you can't even do this for me!" type lesson, when she was trying to befriend the daughter. The daughter then said "Why do I even try talking to you"

    Never mix friendship with parenting, keep it 2 separate things at 2 separate times, or your child will hate both sides.

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