Yesterday I was reading this article where Angelina Jolie mentioned her mom made it clear that they were friends and that she hopes to do the same with her kids. At first I was touched by the sentiment–what mom doesn’t want their child to feel like he/she can talk freely about anything. But in the back of my mind I heard my grandmother and the words she still says to my mother: “I’m not your friend, I’m your mother.”
I know it seems harsh and I really don’t think my grandmother means it unlovingly. She’s just old-school and was raised to believe that parents run the show, kids follow orders. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t think children should feel comfortable talking to their parents, but it definitely does mean children should know their place.
And I have to admit, I kind of agree with her. By no means do I rule my daughter with an iron fist, but I do expect her to do as she’s told. Friends can compromise and bargain with one another, but when I ask my daughter to do something it’s not up for negotiation. That being said, I make every effort to remind my daughter that I can also be her confidant, her advocate and her biggest cheerleader. Much like Angie, it’s important to me that my daughter feel comfortable enough to turn to me as she would her BFF. Except it’s also important to me that she recognizes I’m not her friend, I’m her mother.
What about you? Do you think parents can really be friends with their kids? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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