Dear Granddaddy, I didn’t let my teenage daughter sleep over a coed birthday party, and now she is mad at me because her girlfriends’ moms let them sleep over. Sandra M. a torn mom.
Bravo Sandra M.! You were successful at that extremely difficult task called “parenting.” You knew that your daughter didn’t need you to be her best friend. She has plenty of people her own age to be her best friend. She needed you to be her parent. Mission accomplished. Way to go Sandra. I know that wasn’t easy for you.
You see, we adults come from a generation where our parents, especially our fathers, were often distant, but also in our faces with hard and sometimes harsh discipline. They were frequently on our cases, and sometimes not very forgiving. And just as every generation that came before us, we swore that we wouldn’t make the same mistakes that our parents made. We were determined not to be as mean to our children as our parents were to us
And just like the previous generations of parents that came before us attempting not to be like their parents ironically, we all became our own kind of parents who made our own new set of mistakes. Most likely, someday our kids will swear to themselves that they’ll never make the same dumb mistakes that we made.
One of those mistakes we parents make is trying to be our children’s best friend. We try not to do anything that they will think is mean, such as saying, “NO!” We also tend to do everything for them because, I guess, that’s what best friends or BFFs do, right?
Sandra, good parenting in today’s world is hard work, and I sing the highest praise to you from the rooftops for not taking the easy road. You didn’t cave into the pressure from your daughter, nor did you cave into the pressure of going along with the other adults. Sometimes there is some serious wisdom in those old adages of our parents and grandparents, when they said things like, “Better safe than sorry.”
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