Quote of the Week

“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….



Quote of the Week — 8 Comments

  1. I actually just wrote about this, but in reverse and how it used to drive me crazy when I was younger how my mom was always right even when I thought I knew better and would push the limits mighty far back then. Now, as a parent, I get it completely and you are right parent definitely first, friend second. I don’t know if you watch Everybody Loves Raymond, but the line about if your kids hate you you know you did a great job comes to mind from an older episode and that is what your quote reminded me of, but definitely so true!
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  2. This might be my favorite quote because it sums up exactly how I feel as a mom!! I know that sometimes my boys will say they don’t like me because they don’t like the rules we enforce but I feel like if we do our job correctly then they will grow up (all the way) and love us forever!!!
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  3. Your post made me think as that has been on my mind alot in our own family.

    I find for me alot of limits are best before 13 yrs old…I highly believe in it. I always thought I would have alot of limits for the teen yrs maybe even more bu i am finding that in our family having less limits is what is working the best……letting them set their limits themselves in so many ways and discussing them.

    Year by year we seem to have less authroritarian ways of parenting and much more democratic ways. It is a whole new world for all of us but so far so good (knock on wood)Since I have done this about 1.5 yrs ago very few situations have arose compared to past yrs. Knock on wood!!!

    and dont get me wrong I have lots of limits but a ton less than I used to have.

    I dont see it as being friends perosnally I see it as using the 5 yrs of adolescence (13-18) to grow them into who they are as individuals -part of a family but unique and individiual with their own senses and opinions on what is right and wrong for their lives

    Curious to know more! I can learn for me too!

  4. Great quote, Leah! I see so many clients who want to be their kids friends, not their parents. I get it, but I have seen it blow up in their faces too often. Kids need boundaries, even want them, although they may deny it. Rules and guidelines are how we teach them and show them we care. If we didn’t care about and how they turned out, we would let them run free and do whatever. I care far too much about my girls to not set and enforce expectations, although you bring up an excellent point, we sometimes need to modify rules and guidelines as kids age.
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  5. I love this! Kids will always push the limits…we did it too. I think they actually want limits too because they know we care. Of course it is a constant reevaluation…we started having this discussion about our oldest. He’s probably ready for a change in a limit that we are not, and it’s more about us not being ready at this point than it is about him.
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