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Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful
Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful
Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful
Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful
Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful
Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful
Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful

One empowered woman's struggle against the world
Thursday July 18th 2019

Why I Am Not Friends With My Kids

mom says
I was going to write about make-up and the real difference it makes both inside and out.  I was even going to include pictures of me.  Anyone that has been here before or on Facebook knows I don’t do that but I was going to do it to illustrate my point.  Sometimes a picture is worth a 1000 words, which means I get to write 1000 less and I have already pointed out I can be lazy (at times).

Sorry working on the rambling thing I do, so back on topic.  I was going to write about make-up but my oldest son gave me something else to write about.  Respect and being friends with your child.  He is 16 years old so you know the topic had to come up at some point.

Paul aka “the new man” (tired of writing “the new man” so using his name).  Anyway, when Paul was here he taught me a few things about being a parent.  I wasn’t a bad parent before he got here but I am certainly a better parent now that he has been here.

Paul noticed that I didn’t always respond to my children or I put them off more than I should have.  I did, it was a bad habit, and I saw where it was not the best thing for them or me.  After his speech, I took stock and paid more attention when my children needed me or something.  I became a more attentive parent which is a good thing by all standards.

Things have gone quite well.  I was afraid they would come to expect me to drop everything but so far so good.  Now I respond whenever they need me and pretty instantly but the times I have had to ask them to wait, they have waited.  There is sometimes whining involved but overall not too bad.  It was all going so well until yesterday.

Lack of Respect

This is a text exchange between me and my oldest son (my comments):

son@11:11am:    in an odd request i would like to know if you can pick me up. I am just not having the best day and every little thing is pissing me off (he was at school)
me@11:25am:        ugh…fine but it better not to be to get out of a test or something important (I was in the middle of working on the website)
son@11:42am:    no its not just not in a good day
son@12:06pm:    txt me when you get here im at lunch
son@12:27pm:    if you say ur gonna do something at least do it (seriously?!?!)
me@12:37pm:        Hey watch ur mouth
me@12:38pm:        Was stuck behind accident (I wasn’t really just wanted him to feel guilty for his comment – mom’s prerogative)
son@12:40pm:    Ah srry
me@12:43pm:        Here (the school is only 20 minutes away so 1 hour 18 minutes later is a little longer than it usually takes)

Now if Paul were here, he would tell you my first mistake was agreeing to pick up my son from school to start with.  He is a huge advocate on kids going to and staying in school, which is a good thing, but I am not as strict on that one.  Anything that happened after I made that mistake, I would have gotten no sympathy for at all from him.  He would support me in front of my son but privately I wouldn’t get an ounce of sympathy and probably get a lecture about picking him up in the first place.

I do lie to my children at times and here is one example of why lying can be helpful, in my opinion.  Because of my “stuck behind an accident” comment my son felt bad about being a disrespectful mouthy teenage monster.  He had already apologized.  Had I said I waited to pick him up because I was doing something, I could have stopped, he would have whined about the wait and not felt bad at all for his mouthy comment.

When my mouthy 16 year old got in the car he was oblivious.  I am not one for making a scene in public so in the school office I was sweet as honey.  Once in the car though that all changed.  For the next 30 minutes (I drove slow to make my point) he got to listen to a lecture on respect and being friends.  I didn’t yell or scream, I just talked to him and I made him occasionally repeat back what I was saying to make sure he was listening.

I don’t think, or at least I hope not for his case, he will be disrespectful again anytime soon.  I have found that yelling (Paul told me I yell at them too much and that doesn’t work…again he was right…I am beginning to hate him now that I think about it {said with love}) isn’t all that effective.  My 16 year old would have preferred I would have just yelled at him and been done.  What he hates is when I make him sit and listen.  For him, he already had learned his lesson, through the guilt I made him feel, so my speech was unnecessary.  I knew it was unnecessary to point out his disrespect but the bigger point was why he felt it was ok to be disrespectful in the first place.  Plus I also knew the speech would annoy him.

I didn’t tell him there was no accident although he reads my post so he will find out today.  I pointed out that I have been excellent about stopping what I was doing to attend to them but there are times when I just can’t stop what I am doing or don’t want to stop what I am doing immediately.  Sometimes children have to wait it is a fact of life.  I also told him that the next time he even thinks about being mouthy to consider the fact that it is a 30 mile journey home from school and I am under no requirement to pick him up early from school ever.

Paul is correct that I should do my best to attend to them immediately but children need to understand that it is a privilege not a right.  He is also correct that the children should be in school and I probably shouldn’t have picked him up in the first place.  I am sure my oldest would have told on me the minute he walked in the door but Paul is in England so my oldest is out of luck.  Don’t get me wrong Paul would not have be ok with the disrespectful comment but children who tattle always seem to forget the wrong they have done or think the wrong done to them was worse.

Being Friends

The issue wasn’t just about respect or lack of it.  It was also about why he felt it to be ok to send that text message in the first place.  He is a good kid for the most part.  I have definitely seen worse so I am not complaining.  My mistake of late has not been keeping a clear line between parent and child.

My son is such a good kid and we get along great but I don’t want him to get too comfortable.  As he has gotten older it is easier to talk to him and actually very pleasant, most of the time, but I don’t want to be his friend, I want to be his parent.  I don’t want him to talk to me like he talks to his friends.  I have seen parents cross that line and once you do it is hard to get back.  The first thing that goes is respect.  It starts with a comment here and there and the next thing you know it is out of control.

I disagree with this overly emphasized concept about being friends with your children.  It is on TV, in the movies and just everywhere you look.  We aren’t our child’s friend we are their parent.  When you cross that line it opens the door for too many other lines to be crossed.  Lack of respect being a big one.  I don’t even think it is an intentional lack of respect.  I think when a child sees their parent as a friend more than a parent that line gets blurred for them.

My son felt that it was ok to text that disrespectful comment because lately I have been the cool mom.  I am the cool mom and I am cool with being the cool mom but I am still MOM.  I am not his friend.  What I am is friendly with him.  I love him and want a close relationship, which we have right now, but I want to have a parent/child relationship not a friend relationship.  He needed to understand that yesterday.  I will always be friendly with him and at times may act or do things that make us seem like friends but we aren’t friends.  I am his parent something he should always remember.

Children should respect their parents.  From that respect comes understanding and learning.  If you don’t respect the person who is trying to raise you into a decent adult then you aren’t going to get much from it.  A parent’s sole job with their child is to raise them into being decent adults.  I don’t believe in automatic respect but I do feel I have raised him and treated him well and, as such, should be respected for that.  He is only 16 so my job is not done.  These teenage years are important and him respecting me as a parent is crucial.

Parents sometimes mistakenly think they have to be their child’s friend in order to have a close relationship or have their children talk to them.  I think it is when parents allow themselves to become their child’s friend that they make it more difficult for their child.  When you cross that line children start to treat you, the parent, just like they treat their friends.  They will talk to you but they will also stop listening to you as well.  They will look at you as a peer and not as a parent.  Your instruction will become merely advice they can choose to follow instead of instruction.  They will talk to you like a friend and treat you like a friend.  When you need to parent them, both parent and child will have a difficult time.

I am not suggesting a parent can’t be friends with their adult children but when children are younger it is not the same. By all means be friendly with your children but don’t become their friend.  Children need their parents.  If you stop being the parent there is no one who can take your place.  They have friends and can make tons more but they only have two parents.

Be friendly with your children but when you start to notice comments or actions that are lacking in the respect due a parent, take a step back.  Your children will appreciate it more, when they are older and no longer insane from hormones, that you were their parent and not their friend.  Yesterday’s comment was my sign that I needed to make sure my son understood the distinction between us being friendly, which I love, and us being friends.  He gets it now and it didn’t turn him off from still being friendly.  He later came in and we had conversation just like before.  The thing is now he understands clearly that I am not his friend, I am his parent.  I will treat him like my child and he will treat me like his parent.  When he wants to get stupid he needs to go do that with his friends.
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3 Responses to “Why I Am Not Friends With My Kids”

  1. altermeans says:
    Good way of putting it..
  2. leat32 says:
    No parent is automatically owed respect just because they personally feel they did a good job. That is just a false sense of entitlement, which reality doesn’t care about. The truth is that you get respect from someone when you earn it in their eyes, regardless of what you think you deserve. This goes for children too. Maybe your son just thinks you’re a shit mom who doesn’t deserve his respect. And you can get all pissed off about that, because you feel you are owed something else just because you are his parent, but that’s not gonna change anything.
  3. I would like to give thanks to you for the hard work you made in writing this particular blog post. You actually make it all seem that simple with your talk. nevertheless, I find this topic to be really something which I do think I would for no reason have an understanding of. It seems at the same time intricate and intensely tremendous to me. I’m certainly looking forward for your forthcoming content, I’m going to try to grab the hang of this and I have got you bookmarked as my favorite to check out new items you put up. carry on the good job..

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