Is it okay to be a friend to your child without jeopardizing your mother status? Is that even possible? I believe there is a time for both. This is not a recipe to great parenting; there is no such thing. However, having raised three children, I learned a few things.
A child is born into the world because of a mother. Being a mother is number one, but sometimes we have to flip the switch. There are times when we are just mom–while they are babies and toddlers. We have to do everything for those little people. Well, enjoy it while you can because they start growing up.
Drum roll please…now introducing your teenager, or young adult, take your pick. This is where the decision surfaces to be mother or friend. As children start maturing, it is inevitable that they will start experiencing emotions and making all types of friends. Yeah, all types of friends! And what do most children do when they have an issue? Go to their friends! That’s not always a good idea because more than likely the friend needs guidance themselves and will give the wrong kind of advice. Although, there are some wise young people in the world who will give good advice by telling their friend to talk to their parents so for those who do…thank you!
I believe children go to others because they feel like mom won’t listen, let alone understand. Because we are mothers, there are some people who believe the friend line should not be crossed. When in actuality, this is exactly what needs to happen, especially if they ask that all too familiar question, “Can we talk?” When they do, be ready. Now, don’t get me wrong, I understand how hard it is to not jump in the conversation or not to give that look. You know what I’m talking about moms, so please refrain from doing so. Although every bone in your body is on edge waiting for the next words to come out of their mouths, silently say a prayer and keep listening.
It takes a lot of breathing and a lot of patience to sit there and let your child express what needs to be said. You may even want to pass out but hold on and know you can do this and you have to because you are the one who will always tell them the truth. Every conversation will not be easy and may not be pleasant but at least you have opened that door for them to talk. Being able to put yourself on their level shows that you do care about what’s going on in their lives. This is also a great way of showing them that you were once a teenager and young adult too. They may laugh at you because for some strange reason our kids don’t think we were ever young.
Be a mother, be a friend, be whatever it takes to have a relationship with your children; we owe them our best. If you have regrets in life, having a relationship with your child will not be one of them.