When I was 16, I PROMISED myself that I would be the coolest mom. I swore I’d let my kids do whatever they wished and I would understand what they are going through because I know exactly what it is like to be a teenager.
Now that I’m 31, the reality is setting in and I am FAR from the cool mom I promised myself that I would be. But on the other hand, I’m okay with that.
Should we be friends or parents to our kids? Can we successfully be both? This topic has been appearing in my life and I wanted to shed light on my views and see if I can gain some perspective from other parents.
Currently, I am raising 4 kids. I have a 13-year-old stepdaughter, 12-year-old stepdaughter, 14-month-old son and a newborn.
I am co-parenting to raise my stepchildren. I am not their biological parent but when they are with us, I do try to help be a team with my husband and help as much as possible.
I don’t know why my thoughts on parenting changed so much from when I was 16. Maybe I just GREW UP. But once I started parenting, I understood so much WHY my parents gave us boundaries and rules. I have called my mom several times in the past five years to apologize for my behavior as a teen because I now know what it is like to be on the other side.
I guess if I were to describe my parenting style it would be “tough love”. I believe privileges are to be earned. I definitely monitor social media and technology. I want them to consume age-appropriate content. I want them to get good grades and praise them when they do.
I do love them and want them to have fun when they are with us but I definitely don’t believe we should let them do whatever they want. As I said, boundaries are important to me.
However, this is met with much frustration from my stepchildren…and I totally get it! I was a teen once too.
But anytime we have to set rules or punish them, I constantly hear the same response. We are TOO STRICT and OTHER PARENTS let their kids do WHATEVER they want.
At first, I knew this was a line. Heck, I believe I said this exact thing to my mom a few hundred times. But then I started looking around at what teens are posting nowadays and the music they are listening to and I started thinking, could this possibly be true?
Do other parents take more of a friendship role vs parenting?
Every time I walk through a store and I see a teen in a crop top with shorts that are so short her butt is hanging out, I think to myself, I would NEVER let my kid dress like that but I see it all the time so maybe I am the weird one?
I jump on social media I see 13-year-olds posting Tik Toks with very explicit language and I wonder to myself, do their parents know they are posting this?
What shocks me sometimes is when their parents jump in the video and sing with them. Clearly, they know what they are up to.
I wonder what is going on in the average household today? Are parents okay with their teens saying the F word because they know they can’t stop it? Or do they TRY to stop it and are just not successful?
Do other parents believe that by letting their kids have fewer rules they gain their trust more? Is it a norm to give your kid whatever they want even when they have not worked for it?
I never plan on apologizing for my parenting style or changing it much. But I do want to understand more about what is going on in society. Are we friends first or parents?