are your youth your best friends? - Mothering Forums
Preteens and Teens > are your youth your best friends?
carol's Avatar carol 11:11 AM 02-03-2002
i have four teens living in my home and i can honestly say that they are my best friends. they work along side me in the green house and help in the chores. i have very little to complain about with these young people. i really believe that what you don't deal with in two year olds you reap in their teens. sleeping with your children is such a good way to form lasting bonds because they come to my room now and don't think it's weird. being a strict supervisor of friends is very hard to do but must be done. does anyone else feel this way about their young people?

peggy's Avatar peggy 12:24 PM 02-03-2002
I have two teens currently living at home, and I agree sometimes they can be very good friends to me. They are loving and helpful with very good senses of humor. I enjoy having long talks with them after school. I do, however some times find it hard to stay "connected" they are both so busy with outside activities. I find more and more I have to make a conscious effort to find time to spend with them. I am here all day, they are not!!!
I also agree that it is very important to know who their friends are. I encourage them to bring friends home to watch movies or hang out. Especially since local custom here is for teens to hang out at the mall

Marg of Arabia's Avatar Marg of Arabia 01:23 PM 02-03-2002
Yes, my oldest is my best friend. My mom is still my best friend. I hope to stay close with all my kids throughout their lives!!!!!

Lindy's Avatar Lindy 06:44 PM 02-03-2002
MY dh and my 17 yr old ds and 11 yr old dd are all my best friends.
We are all so close. AP really does work.
copslass's Avatar copslass 08:37 PM 02-03-2002
One day, closest friend.
Next day, I am suddenly the worst enemy.:
But the next day, back to...

Marg of Arabia's Avatar Marg of Arabia 01:41 AM 02-04-2002
Hey! Tracy that IS the definition of a best friend.....isn't it??

Any close relationship is like that.

copslass's Avatar copslass 11:39 PM 02-04-2002
Thanks, Marg!
You are so right!
I love you!
barbara's Avatar barbara 04:01 AM 02-13-2002
YES!!!!!! I am so glad to find other moms that feel the same way about their teenagers!
I have 2 married children, one in college, 2 teenagers, a 5 year old and an 8 year old. (that makes 7 in case anyone is counting )
My kids have always been my closest friends. I have loved having teenagers and grown closer to them as they have become adults. Almost everything I ever heard about raising teenagers was a lie....I'm not saying it was easy, but just like birth there are ways to just "get through it" and ways to really embrace and enjoy the journey. We choose to enjoy our children at whatever stage they were in, and now as adults they have choosen to consider us as close friends that they want to spend their time with. Parenting is like anything get out of it what you put into it. Attachment parenting is worth the effort....I would say sacrifice, however, in hind sight, it was no sacrifice at all.
Marg of Arabia's Avatar Marg of Arabia 12:41 PM 02-14-2002
I agree with you and I understand your point. I just think that you can have your cake and eat it too!!!

Why? because I was always good friends with my mom. I think the major reason for my wild ways as a teen was due to the fact that she worked full time. I was left on my own so much. Since I am an only child I looked to my friends for a family(big mistake). I did drugs and alcohol to fit in. I firmly believe I would have hung out with my mom if she would have been around. She not only worked a full time in a high stressed job, she also owned her own bookstore. There was 0 time for me in my parent's life. Once I got into my 20's I started seeing more of her. She has always been my best friend.

I really think that children DO NOT need a lot of time with friends!!! Including teens. They should have friends but there is no reason why they shouldn't hang out with mom just as much as friends. It doesn't make a kid maladjusted. Those attitudes are the same attitudes people have about homeschooling and socializing. It is thought that somehow your child will be a social reject if they do not go to school. That spending so much time with mom is wrong. I think that spending too much time with friends is the dangerous part. If a child wishes to hang out with mom then they should!! If they want to constantly be with friends that is O.K. too but I would watch them carefully.

O.K. and this thing about the way a mom dresses. I am not sure what you meant. I dress more hip and with the times than my daughter. So, I may be one of those moms!! I am 38 but am very often told I look like I am in my 20's. Never somking and stopping drink has really helped me in my aging process. My daughter is very happy that I could pass as an older sister. I do not dress to please her. I have always tried to keep up with the fashions. I NEVER dress trashy, just stylish. I am not sure what kind of mom you were talking about. I hope to always be fashionable.

I know you were just expressing your opinions. I am too!!!

Happy Valentines Day!! And watch out when you go to take a shower today!! That dh of yours may be lurking around just waiting to sling the shower curtain open!! Have a romantic day!!!

barbara's Avatar barbara 01:36 PM 02-14-2002
I agree that most teens spend far too much time with peers. Of course they want to have friends their age, but too much time breeds trouble. They need to hang out with good role models, and who better than their parents?! We are talking about being friends with your teens, not trying to be one of the teens. I think the natural thing is for teens to want to hang out with their parents. (perhaps not in our society...but I have never taken curent culture as my norm for parenting.) Socialization by peers is overrated. My kids friends who go to school and don't like hanging out with their parents are a lot more "troubled" , insecure, and generally unhappy than my children. They all wish they had better relationships with their parents and they love hanging out at our house with Greg and I. We aren't trying to be our kids is just the natural outcome of the parenting styles we began when they were babies.
This is just my opinion, but I think society tries to tell us that it is "natural" for teenagers to shun their parents and be rebellious, and we believe it and think that if you are friends with your teen, you will lose your authority, and their respect. Just as society tells us that parents who sleep with their children must have some perverted need of their own they are trying to we believe that parents who have a friendship relationship with their teens (and the teen's friends) are trying to fulfill some sick need to be young. My experience has shown this to be false.
I think we all just need to relax and enjoy eachother!
peggy's Avatar peggy 01:45 PM 02-14-2002
I think I know the kind of Mom NM was talking about. My DD's best friend has one. She not only dresses like a teenager she acts like one! If the girls are going to the movies or any where for that matter the Mom offers to give rides, but when they get there she hangs out with them. This is not to keep an eye on them , this is to really "hang out" She giggles, talks the lingo, and other wise makes a fool of herself. Her poor daughter gets so embarassed. She also tells ALL her problems to her DD and relies on her for support and advice.
Lest you all think I'm running around in polyester pants suits...I love clothes, I like lots of the new styles, but hip huggers and belly shirts just do nothing for me...

Hilary Briss's Avatar Hilary Briss 01:56 PM 02-14-2002
Marg of Arabia will never be out of style.
barbara's Avatar barbara 10:23 PM 02-14-2002
Maybe it really just comes down to what our definition of friend is.

My husband is my best friend....I don't try to be one of the guys to be his friend. He doesn't try to be one of the girls to be my friend.

My daughter-in-law is also one of my closest friends....I don't try to be her mother (she has a fine one already!) I don't try to be like her (we are different in many ways other than just our age).

My teenagers are my friends because we enjoy each other, not because we try to be like one another. We are friends because we have respect, love, trust and admiration for one another. We enjoy one another's company. We have relationship!

I believe with all my heart that that is how family is suppose to be.
peggy's Avatar peggy 10:33 PM 02-14-2002
Dear Barbara,
Very well said.

barbara's Avatar barbara 11:30 PM 02-14-2002

Thanks Peggy!
carol's Avatar carol 01:31 PM 02-19-2002
very well said,barbara. it's not that they are my best friends in the sense that i get MY social needs met thru them, i just feel alot of respect , love and admiration but mostly i choose to be very involved in there lives. they should absolutly trust us.
the other night 3 of my young people(14-18) were broke down about 4 miles away. it was only 1/2 past their curfew. my one DD said to their friends that to just wait a few minutes , her mother would either be out to find them or the police will already have them on the missing persons list.
it's not that i don't trust them like i would a friend, i am soooo responsible for them. which makes the friendship different anyway.
let me put it this way, i am their best friends as well as their mother. why should they separate the two? iron sharpens iron? i will sharpen them and guide them and direct them as far as they will allow me to.(as youth) . as they grow ,you hope that you are imparting a basic friendship trust and respect that they need to jump out of the nest and take all the years of training with them. friends trust each other and that's level that i refer to them as my/theirs friend.
barbara's Avatar barbara 03:32 PM 02-19-2002
Yes Carol!
That is exactly right. The friendship relationship does not superceed the parent-child enhances it.
I think that gentle, loving discipline and respect for the child as a person has a lot to do with building this relationship, not to mention the freedom and closeness that home education provides.
barbara's Avatar barbara 12:59 PM 03-04-2002
Just Wondering,

Yes perhaps it is the term "best Friend" that is the problem. I simply don't have a better one. I do discourage my young children from using the word because it can be hurtful to friends to call one of them "best". That should be reserved for your husband or wife.

All friends and family have special places, and there are different ones that you will want to share different things with. My point is that most parents don't have much of any relationship with their teenagers other than one of conflict. I believe that the parent-child relationship is special and sacred. It is many faceted, and different with each child.

My grown daughter and I have a special friendship because she is also a mother and we share so many beliefs and experiences. But of course her "best friend" is her it should be. As a teenager her peers were her closest confidants, yet there were and still are many things that she would rather talk to me about, because we understood each other better. Things like poetry, music, art, having babies and being a good listener to her friends. Sharing those things is what friendship is about, no matter the age.

My married son and I had a different friendship when he was a teenager. Now I consider his wife to be my friend. It would be "yucky" for my son to "confide" in me what should be reserved for his wife. Yet I would still consider them to be among my "best friends". He and I never had the same kind of relationship that my daughter and I did, yet it was still and friendship. His soccer buddies were his "friends" yet when he wanted to discuss deep spiritual matters he would seek out his father or I.

My 5 year old daughter is not the one I would look to when I need to share my worries over growing older, yet whe I want to play makebelieve she the first friend I will turn to!

Perhaps my definition of friendship is too broad. I simply do not have a better word. I will always consider my husband, my sister, and my children to be my closest friends. Through out life I have had many people that I have called friends. Most have come and gone. All have touched me, some very deeply. A few have held a lasting place in my heart. Yet, my family will always be there...they are the ones I will turn to in crisis. The ones I will share my sorrows and my joys with. To me that is frienship.