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.