And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Saturday, November 3, 2012

My Child is NOT My Best Friend

I have 2 AMAZING children. They are more precious to me each and every single day. They are as different as night and day. They have characteristics of hubby and I along with thrown in traits from grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. They are a joy to be around (most of the time) and they are gorgeous! I love them both with all of my heart and I can see God and His special design in each of them. But....ya know what? They are NOT my best friends.

My daughter is 7 and I love watching her grow and mature. We have great conversations and I hope she is comfortable enough to talk to me about anything but she is NOT my best friend. And I am not hers. We homeschool and we are together at least 90% of the time that we are awake. We talk and laugh and joke throughout the day every single day but she is not my best friend.

My son is 5 and he cracks me up. He has a terrific personality and gets along with just about everyone. He talks to me all the time and he shares his hopes and dreams with me. He prays consistently and he asks me BIG questions that I don't always have an answer to. We are together all the time but he is not my best friend and I am not his.

I see an alarming trend. Parents all over Facebook professing that their children are their best friends. I know if you are posting it all over Facebook then you are also saying it out loud to your children. Your children don't NEED you to be their best friend. Your children NEED you to be their parent. They need the safety and security that you can provide by being the parent in the house. Your children need and want structure. They need and want rules. They need and want you to be in charge. They need and want you to lead and guide them. They need and want you to be an adult, not their equal.

Best friends should be peers of a similar age with similar interests and emotions and feelings. That usually (although not always) means a person of the same gender. You are not your child's peer. Your interests should not all be the same. Your maturity level should not be the same. While most of us respect our friends it is a mutual respect due to life experience, position, etc. Your child should hold you in a much higher regard than that. They should respect you as their provider and their protector, not their friend.

God has given you the responsibility of raising your children to become productive adults. That does not involve you being their friend. It also does not involve bowing down to their every demand. Children don't really know what they want. They don't have the capacity to make big decisions. They shouldn't be in charge. If your child is in fact your best friend and you are giving them the run of the house and of their own lives then you are doing them a huge disadvantage. You are not helping them, in fact you are hindering them. You are also taking the lazy way out if you allow your child to be in charge. It is hard work to be a parent. It will never be easy. Being someone's friend is easy, being someone's parent is a responsibility.

If your child is your best friend, you are doing yourself a disservice as well. God created us to thrive in community with others with similar personalities and beliefs. If your child is your best friend, you need to work harder to find a peer for yourself. You need to be involved in an adult friendship with someone who lives outside of your home. My husband is AMAZING. He is my guy. We talk about everything. We share everything. He knows more about me than anyone else on earth. He is my husband. That means even more than someone being my best friend. Best friends are important to have but best friends may come and go through seasons of life. Your husband should ALWAYS be your husband and your child should ALWAYS be your child. Be careful not to confuse those relationships in your life. It is important that they are in order.

Repeat it with me "My child is not my best friend."

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