“For as long as I live, I will always be your parent first and your friend second. I will stalk you, flip out on you, lecture you, drive you insane, be your worst nightmare and hunt you down like a bloodhound when I have to, because I love you. When you understand that, I will know you have become a responsible adult. You will never find anyone else in your life who loves, prays, cares and worries about you more than I do. If you don’t mutter under your breath, “I hate you at least once in your life, I am not doing my job properly”.
This quote jumped out at me this past week when I saw it. Normally with this kind of quote I would smile, maybe read it to my husband, and then move on.
But this week, we decided to base our entire family night on it.
Over the past few weeks small, little situations have been creeping up where we have needed to remind our kids of some of our home/family standards, expectations, values, boundaries and rationales.
So, we aren’t the most popular parents this week, needless to say.
Children push limits, and as they get older, they certainly push on them harder.
Sometimes they claim they didn’t know there were limits there to start with so they innocently push – and sometimes that is the case (See, I’m being nice here. I don’t buy that for one minute. We are a talk talk talk kind of family. You know exactly what I’m talking about as we have talked about it a million times).
Sometimes however they push and seem to be checking if the limits are still there or maybe we have forgotten about them.
When we feel the push, Rob and I usually have a discussion between us of the reasonableness of the limits: do we still need them? Have they outgrown them? Do they need stronger ones, looser ones? Why are they pushing them? What would happen if they were removed? When is it time to let them establish their own limits?
After careful consideration on our part, we discussed which ones we really want to enforce and which ones we can loosen up a bit to accommodate their need for independence.
No matter how much consideration you give however, you can come across as being unreasonable, old fashioned, over protective or simply uncool.
And I’m just fine with that.
Because of exactly what this quote says.
Parent first. Friend second.
One day my child, you will have a child just like you… then we can talk talk talk some more….