Are You Friends With Your Kids?

Are you friends with your kids? I bet some of you are uncomfortable with that statement…  Parents aren’t friends with their kids right?  Because then they would disrespect us, or take advantage or any other number or negative consequences from us being overly nice or letting go of control?

Do you treat your children with the same respect and understanding you would your best friend?  Let me go even further, if your best friend treated you the same way you treat your kids on a daily basis, would you still be friends with them?  :)

Let’s say

– You came to them with a problem and they are only half listening, carrying on what they’re doing and not really giving you eye contact, and they do this regularly,

– You cry in front of them and they tell you to stop

– You go outside together and they insist you have your coat on because they have decided its too cold not too.

– You go shopping with them regularly but they refuse to stop off at a place you want to go to on the way home because they’re too tired, haven’t got time or give you some other random excuse that you know is just a brush off.

– They keep reminding you when they think you’ve had enough candy or sweet stuff, and actually are very controlling of your eating when you’re with them

– They use eye rolls, sarcasm or condescending language when you spill something in their house

– You forget something at home and they either refuse to let you go back for it or stand there tutting and looking pissed.

– They don’t tell you when they’re feeling stressed, angry or tired they just shout at you, talk in a sarcastic or mean way and expect you to guess or just put up with the treatment

– You have this sneaking suspicion that everything they do or say is about getting you to do what they want.

 

It’s telling for all of us isn’t it when we think like that.

So how do you like your friends to treat you?  This is the list I’ve come up with:

– They give you full attention when you approach them with a problem, they make you feel heard and show you empathy.

– If you cry in front of them, they are genuinely concerned as to why and how they can help, even if it’s just being there

– They let you chose how you dress yourself, and maybe suggest bringing extra clothes if its colder outside than you were expecting

– When you go out together, they are happy to stop off at other places you may want to go as often as is possible, and it’s likely something you can enjoy together

– They trust your bodies ability to self regulate around food, but give you information they’ve heard on different foods and chat with you about how it may make you feel or how it can affect our bodies

– If you spill something in their house, they clean it up graciously with no questions asked

– If you leave something at home, they are happy to wait or go back with you to retrieve it before the two of you continue on

– They tell you when they’re feeling stressed or upset before they have the chance to say something crappy to you, and they appologise if they do.  They also make sure you know their mood is nothing to do with you

– They make sure that both of you are getting your needs met in the relationship, they don’t try to control, coerce or manipulate you into doing something you don’t want to.  They speak openly and directly about things and joyfully find solutions that are mutually beneficial for both of you.

There’s one difference between friends and kids that stands out to me.  Friends can walk away from each other and decide not to spend time together anymore, but kids can’t walk away from their parents until their 18.  So why don’t we make our kid’s stay with us as enjoyable as possible, so when they’re older and they have the choice to leave, they still want to come back and hang out. ;)

What are you thoughts?  Please share this with your friends on Facebook and Twitter!

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Emma Combes

Emma helps parents overcome the automatic negative reactions that are stopping them from parenting consciously and with love through her coaching practice. She also helps parents live the most awesome life in all areas, so they can know they were the best role model they could be for their children.

  • Meagan Eaton Chambers

    I feel like someone just wrote out, word for word, how I feel about raising my kids. It’s not that I want to be my kids friend now, but one day I want to have a friendship with them. Just because they are small people doesn’t mean they are less human and deserve less respect. It’s just about living a life that treats everyone with respect, equally. No matter what.

    • http://www.consciousmama.com Emma Combes @ Consciousmama

      Thanks for your comment Meagan! Totally, mutual respect all the way! Not easy all the time not to slip back into old patterns but I always aim for this. :)

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