(Closed) Can mothers be friends with their children? Interesting debate

posted 5 years ago in Emotional
Post # 16
Member
2957 posts
Sugar bee

My parents were clear parents growing up. I’m now a full grown adult, so I guess they are still “parents” but they don’t do as many parent-y things for me. Their parent-y things are mainly related to giving me advice about oil changes and recipes, really. So, I guess the next option would be to classify them as “friends.” However, I do not talk to them about the same things I talk to my friends about. I believe healthy boundaries are good throughout the parent/child relationship, even when it enters the “friend” stage. 

Post # 17
Member
713 posts
Busy bee

I feel like you need both– strict enough to establish rules and boundaries etc., but also enough of a friend that your kid comes to you for advice and help throughout life.

Post # 18
Member
1202 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

The problem comes when a child sees a parent as a peer. Parents are not peers. They are authority figures. Trying really hard to be friends with your children can serve to blur the peer/authority figure line, which is necessary to have before a child reaches adulthood (where then the “authority” piece dissolves). 

Post # 19
Member
3951 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I think you can provide many elements of a friendship – support, love, advice, and even fun – but, until they are adults, the role of parent has to supersede the role of friend. Kids also need you to teach, guide, provide for, and protect them.

Post # 20
Member
3855 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

I have a 15 year old daughter.  We gossip, we giggle, we look at goofy things on the internet, and talk about boys.  We go on adventures together. We cry together when life gets hard. We snuggle on the couch and watch dorky movies.  We go to dinner and people watch.  

I also make sure she is focused on her grades, keeps her room clean, is polite and respectful.  I help her work on her organizational skills.  I provide her with advice and boundaries, helping her to make the transition into being a more independent person.  I harp on her about her responsibilities.  

She is absolutely one of my favorite people in the whole world to just spend time with.  If that makes me a bad parent from everyone on the internet who has never lived this life, then so be it.  

Post # 21
Member
953 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013 - Ontario, Canada

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desertgypsy :  I don’t think so at all! To me, doing fun things together doesn’t make you just a friend and less of a parent. As I said before, it needs to be a healthy balance. I think being too much of a “parent” and too strict isn’t good but nethier is being too much of a “friend” by not setting boundries or not saying “no” because you don’t want your kid to be upset with you.

Post # 22
Member
2957 posts
Sugar bee

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desertgypsy :  You sound like a good parent and an actual parent!

Post # 23
Member
728 posts
Busy bee

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stefano101 :  I get this. I am 20. My mom is still helping me financially and I am still her dependent until I marry my fiancé, but she’s one of my best friends. Ever since I outgrew that sassy “too cool for anything” stage, we have been close. That was probably about 15 years old. She knows how to be my parent and my friend. She can give me advice and also tell me to empty the dishwasher lol. She is the most wonderful mom and I hope to be just like her one day.

Post # 24
Member
728 posts
Busy bee

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desertgypsy :  You sound just like my mom and as the daughter, I can assure you she is very lucky to have you.

Post # 25
Member
1156 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I was never close with my mother. She was very authoritarian in her parenting style. I rebelled alot and we fought a lot. I wasn’t even a bad kid, but she was very invested in our lives so to speak. We also didn’t have similar interests or hobbies and she is often pushy trying to get me interested in her likes and dislikes. As an adult – our relationship is fine. We talk, share things, etc. It’s not close or lovely dovey but it works. 

My mother also always said she was my parent and not my friend. Children and parents should not be friends. I wanted her as a friend when I was in my teens and during certain situtions. I resented a lot of things and how she handled things when I came to her. 

I’m almost 19w pregnant with a girl. I am so excited, but also nervous. I know how I want to be and how I want to approach things, but still figuring it out. Def. a mom when my baby is younger. 

I was really a daddy’s girl growing up. He always knew the right things to say and he was both a parent and a friend. You could joke around with him and also be real with him. He always gave solid advice and I would pick hanging out with him any day of the week. He was so much more understanding and he still is to this day. I go to him first with any major issue. 

Post # 26
Member
367 posts
Helper bee

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ElephantAndTheFlea :  +1 I definitely had both with my mom. She was a young, single mom of 3 girls. My sisters and I definitely had a parent, one who played both mom and dad. But at the same time she was also our friend. I think because it was like that from the beginning for us  (I was 4 when my parents got divorced) it was easier for her to be both a parent and also a friend because that is the relationship we were used to. Now that we are all adults I definitely consider her more of a friend but she also still offers me guidance as a parent.

Post # 27
Member
924 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2018

I love my mom! We have done trips and spa weekends, long lunches together. I taught her to play beer pong, we’re happy whiling away the hours chatting or shopping or just being together. We like the same things, have similar hobbies

But she’s not my friend. She’s my mom. What’s the difference? there are topics of conversation I would NEVER share with her, and things I would share ONLY with her when I need advice. It doesn’t mean our relationship can’t be friendly, but a girl can have plenty of friends… but only one mom.

at the end of the day, she feels far more responsibility towards me than she would toward a friend, and I have a certain level of respect, admiration and resentment (lol) for her that I don’t have towards even my best friends. I think that’s the difference

Post # 28
Member
3797 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

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stefano101 :  Sure, I can be a friend to my son (he’s almost 7 months) when he’s older. But, for the next 18ish years, I am his parent. I will make choices that help him learn how to be a kind, productive, independent person and that will mean I have to be firm and disliked at certain times. My DH feels the same. We will have fun and share amazing experiences with our son, but our responsibility as parents trumps everything. I think many parents want to be liked and thus forget to set boundaries and give appropriate consequences when kids misbehave or make poor choices. I learned a long time ago as a teacher that the desire to be liked can prevent a lot of important lessons from being learned. 

Post # 29
Member
2979 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

I think as kids and teens parents need to be parents. I’ve seen so many parents who are friends to their teens and I feel like those kids just haven’t turned out great – obv anecdotal.

I personally don’t think I’ll ever be able to be ‘friends’ with my mom. This sounds bad, but I just don’t *like* her that much. I love her, and respect her for her sacrifices and I will always support and be there for her. But we are just so different. Her personality is the type I avoid in people because it drives me crazy lol. She also used to be very manipulative, and as I’ve gotten older I’ve been able to stand up to that and call her on her BS.

Post # 30
Member
2957 posts
Sugar bee

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lmo013 :  Well said!

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