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Old 02-23-2020, 12:31 AM
 
37 posts, read 15,032 times
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I've always heard that "parents should never be friends with their kids and set up well defined boundaries". It kinda makes sense as the person who nurtures you financially, emotionally and guides you growing up should take a more authoritarian stance than simply being a passive friend.

However I know of this American girl in my college who is 19 and family moved to Ireland a while back and is very smart and well traveled. She's not that well off but works her but off and constantly travels around with her boyfriend. Her mother also drink and smoke weed with her and says she's been a close friend to her.

From what I typed, you might think she's a low life but no, she gets good grades in school, has her own job while living rent free but saving money and enjoys life from time to time.

Meanwhile I think of many people with very authoritarian type parents who didn't seem to end up well because of it.

What's the right way, is there even a right way for a parent to choose in this situation?
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Old 02-23-2020, 01:31 AM
 
Location: Brackenwood
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Call me old-fashioned, but in a proper parent/child relationship the parents are never friends and always authority figures to their children unless and until the parents have so mentally deteriorated they can no longer articulate their accumulated experiences and wisdom to their offspring.

That doesn't mean parents get to control their kids beyond adulthood or they have should have no shared interests or experiences as adults, but it DOES mean parents never stop being role models for the children. The real-time shared experiences of parent and child are near-zero at the child's birth and gradually narrow as they get older together, but they never converge for as long as the parent has the mental capacity to pass on their real-time knowledge, experiences, and wisdom to their children.

Passing down experiences without passing down wisdom is a tragedy in the making for the kids.

Last edited by Bitey; 02-23-2020 at 01:53 AM..
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Old 02-23-2020, 01:59 AM
 
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There's something wrong with your relationship if you can't.

I'm not saying drink and smoke weed with your kids. That's weird and messed up. But being friends with your kids helps them feel comfortable talking to you. They want to feel like they can come to you for anything/talk about anything and it will be a stronger relationship for it.

Yes, first and foremost they are your parents, but you can set boundaries while still being friendly. How you do it is up to you.
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Old 02-23-2020, 02:30 AM
 
Location: California
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When they were young it was a fine line and sometimes difficult to navigate but now that they are adults we are definitely friends, but they know I'm still mom and expect me to be a little overbearing once in awhile
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Old 02-23-2020, 02:54 AM
 
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Authoritative vs authoritarian, I think is what you're getting at? My kid is grown. I like to believe I was more authoritative. Boundaries were set yet there was much discussion of why the rules were the way they were. We talked. Kid grew. We are definitely friends now. There is a huge difference between that and the (passive parenting) scenario you are presenting.
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Old 02-23-2020, 04:08 AM
 
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My daughter, now 25, still laughs at how upset she was in second grade when I would tell her, “I’m not your friend. I’m your mom.” You can be friendly with your children but still maintain your authority. Like TXNGL said.

Small children especially need to know someone else is in charge. I always roll my eyes at a mom who says her daughter is her best friend. Then you’re not doing your job.
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Old 02-25-2020, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
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Hmm. I am friends with my adult children and their spouses. I was pretty strict with them, but as they got older I enjoyed talking with them, and I do think we became friends. Now, they have not shared a lot if very personal stuff with me, but I don’t expect that. I don’t share very personal stuff with them. They aren’t like longstanding girlfriends!

As they were growing older, I wanted them to be able to tell me anything without feeling judged. I don’t think they did feel free to tell me anything, but we did talk. One of my kids texts me about some life stuff even now.

I felt that as my kids grew and became more mature, I could treat them almost as friends. I feel very friendly with them now. But we do not share very personal things.
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Old 02-25-2020, 12:34 PM
 
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If you do the parenting thing right, then it is possible to become friends with your children when they reach adulthood.

My parents were very authoritative when I was growing up. I am now an adult, and they are now my friends (and occasional babysitters).
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Old 02-25-2020, 01:05 PM
 
9,470 posts, read 3,553,795 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bitey View Post
Call me old-fashioned, but in a proper parent/child relationship the parents are never friends and always authority figures to their children unless and until the parents have so mentally deteriorated they can no longer articulate their accumulated experiences and wisdom to their offspring.

That doesn't mean parents get to control their kids beyond adulthood or they have should have no shared interests or experiences as adults, but it DOES mean parents never stop being role models for the children. The real-time shared experiences of parent and child are near-zero at the child's birth and gradually narrow as they get older together, but they never converge for as long as the parent has the mental capacity to pass on their real-time knowledge, experiences, and wisdom to their children.

Passing down experiences without passing down wisdom is a tragedy in the making for the kids.

Can't you be both? Can't someone be a role model AND a friend? Can't one be an authority figure AND a friend?


Certainly friends can pass wisdom to each other, not just parents to their children.


Personally, I feel like I can be friends with my children (who are adults now) and STILL lend a guiding hand, a word of wisdom, etc. I can ALSO be a shoulder to cry on, and someone to share exciting news, or sad news, or ANY THING at all...if they want to.
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Old 02-25-2020, 01:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassybluesy View Post
Can't you be both? Can't someone be a role model AND a friend? Can't one be an authority figure AND a friend?


Certainly friends can pass wisdom to each other, not just parents to their children.


Personally, I feel like I can be friends with my children (who are adults now) and STILL lend a guiding hand, a word of wisdom, etc. I can ALSO be a shoulder to cry on, and someone to share exciting news, or sad news, or ANY THING at all...if they want to.
99% agree!

My kids didn't fair well to strictness. I guided and mostly brought them into some stability in their care.
The 1% in not being their friend was that I didn't confer with them on 'adult 'matters. There were parts of my adulthood that my kids certainly didn't need to be aware of. I did support them and encourage them. Which even my friends carried such qualities.

Reckon that style of parenting isn't teaching kids who's the boss, yet that wasn't my goal. My kids weren't in a job or under Marshall law. We were family.
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