We’re Not Friends

Many people in the generation before me (the baby boomers), and even some in my own generation, take issue with today’s parenting practices. In particular, they lament the fact that today’s parents try too hard to be their children’s friends, resulting in a whole generation lacking in structure and discipline. If you’re one of these people, let me assure you, there is at least one child out there who is perfectly clear on one thing: her parents are not her friends.

When BE is upset at J or me, she has a habit of saying, “you’re not my friend anymore.” In the past, I’ve let it go, but last week, I responded, “you’re right, we’re not friends.” This made her even more upset and she started crying. But I explained to her that she should be happy that we’re not friends. I told her that if she were my friend, our relationship probably wouldn’t last long. After all, I don’t stay friends with people who yell at me and insult me. But, since she is my daughter, I will continue to be her mother no matter how she treats me. I think she got it.

On the way to the grocery store tonight, the fact that she had told me we weren’t friends anymore came up. She said, “that’s ok, because you’re not my friend. You’re my mom.”


This is a paperweight BE made last year in preschool. They were doing a unit about dinosaurs and she told me that this was maiasaura. Apparently maiasaura was her favorite because it was the only dinosaur that didn’t leave its babies.


4 thoughts on “We’re Not Friends

  1. About the smartest thing I have ever heard. B sounds very verbal for her age. These conversations take some planning on your part but I promise that it pays off by laying a solid foundation for the future. Parents often forget that or dont want to expend that kind of energy on their kids.

  2. Great post! She is already such a smart girl and I think the fact you have such honest and open conversations with her is only going to strengthen her intelligence

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