I’m sure we’ve all made the mistake of being more of our child’s friend instead of being a parent. I’m sure we’ve all attempted the “friendship” parenting method at one point in our child’s life or another, but then switch gears when that parenting style doesn’t really work. I personally found myself attempting to be my children’s best friend when I was a single mother of 2. I wanted to be my children’s best friend because I felt guilty of being a single parent and I felt responsible for them not having a dad in their life. I also felt guilty about working so many hours and having limited amount of time to spend with them.
Now I can ask myself, “did working so much make me a bad parent?” At the time that I was a single parent my answer would have been, “yes”. Now, after having more years of experience as a parent I honestly feel that working long hours actually made me a strong parent. I was a strong parent because I didn’t sit on my ass and wait on a welfare system to feed my kids. When my children were younger I didn’t feel confident about my later more experience thoughts about parenting because I allowed the guilt to consume my thought process about the matter. The downside to being a single parent was the point that I forgot how to parent. I figured since my kids had already experience the devastation of my recent divorce, it was my responsibility to give them back a sense of normalcy of having a “real” family. A “normal” family for me was being their friend and not really enforcing any rules or implementing any discipline. This was my biggest mistake as a parent!! As a result of my “friendship” type parenting, my kids became disrespectful at times and they spent less time doing chores that they were asked to do.
Later I learned that I am really my children’s friend, but I’m a friend that cares enough to implement rules because if I don’t a stranger from the streets or even from the jail cell will. I am a friend that will show my children right from wrong because friends don’t allow their friends to be ignorant.
Am I the only parent that have had this experience?
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