Look at the parent/child relationship and realize that you and your children are not friends. Almost every parent has experienced the wrath of a child. That awful moment when a child tells you either:
- I am mad at you
- I hate you
- I like my other parent better
- You are mean
- You are not my friend
The first time you hear one of those statements, it really hurts.In fact, it puts you on pause and makes you ask, what you did wrong and if you were too hard on your little bundle of joy. After you have heard these statements a few times you begin to realize there is one thing almost all children have in common. That thing is that children are master manipulators. Children know parents want to be loved. Our children know that when they are sad, we are sad. Our children know that parents will do almost anything to see their children smile. With all this information always in mind, our children know how to go for the big guns and make us feel bad when we dish out discipline, say no or refuse to give in to their unreasonable demands.
It is important to realize that while you have a special relationship with your children, that relationship is not a friendship. Be encouraged, do not despair. Your children are not meant to be your friends. It is your job to take your children from babies who depend upon you for everything to adults who are independent and fully capable of caring for themselves and families of their own. This is not an easy job. It is a hard job that requires you to do things you would never consider doing for a friend. Some of these things include the following:
- Diaper changing
- Unlimited maid, chauffeur, and body-guard services
- Spending 1 hour doing Algebra homework for a sick child that she never turns in and gets in trouble for not turning in
Ok, the last item on that list may be something that is unique to me. But, whenever I talk about things parents do for children that is not appreciated, I always tell the story because I was not happy about that algebra situation. If you look at the other items on the list, you see things that are important, special and intimate, but definitely not friendly things. It is clear that the parent/child relationship is many things, but it is not a friendship. Be a parent, raise your children, you can even cry when your children hurt your feelings, but do not try to be a friend to your children.
[Tweet “When it comes to your children, you are a parent, not a friend and that is a good thing.”]
You can find serenity in looking at the parent/child relationship and realizing that you are not friends. So, the question for you this serene day is, what kind of relationship do you have with your children?
If you liked this and would like to read more about parent/child relationships, check out the following:
New Look at Parents/Kid Relationships – We’re Not Friends – Parenting techniques, like fashions, seem to flow in circles. Ideas that were once radical and cutting edge become dated and fall out of use, only to be seen as new again years later. In my recent travels, I have come across some parents who tell me I should treat my children as equals and as my friends. I don’t understand how that idea works. [Read More . . . ]
Improve Family Life – Spend Alone Time with Each Child – Most parents who have more than one child know that one of the most precious gifts you can give a child is one on one attention. Very often in families with one or more children parents spend time with children in a group rather than on a one on one basis. When you are part of a multi-child family your children often will get only a very little private time with you. Quality of life in your family will get better if your children feel special, loved and are able to have private time with you. [Read More . . . ]