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Should I Be A Friend Or A Parent?

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More Videos from Elizabeth Lyons 6 videos in this series

Elizabeth Lyons explains why you should separate parenthood and friendship with your child.

Elizabeth Lyons:
I think lots of times moms want to be their child’s friend for a number of reasons – number one, they spend a lot of time with their child.

So being best friends with a 2-year-old, there’s actually a book on the market that I think is hilarious, it’s called “Your Three-Year-Old: Friend or Enemy,” and we all know the answer to that question.

But, you know, you spend so much time with these little people that you think that they are a natural choice to be your best buddy.

However, when you go down the path of being your child’s friend as opposed to being their parent when they are young, it can have some unfortunate consequences. And we only really have to think about Lindsay Lohan to realize how wrong that whole thing can go.

I think when your child becomes an adult him or herself, that’s a great time for the relationship to become a little bit more friendly.

I have a 10-year-old daughter. I try very hard to keep the relationship. There’s a fine line I think between being their mom and the person who they look to for guidance and being the person that they ask to go drinking with them.

Like, I am not going to be going drinking with my children, probably ever, even when they are of legal age.

So, but with my 10-year-old I try very hard to keep those lines of communication open so that she feels like she can come to me as a friend. In other words, if she is having issues with boys or friends at school, I want her to feel like she can come to me.

I don’t want to be so far removed from her in the relationship sense that she is embarrassed or feels uncomfortable asking me questions that I want her to be able to ask me.

At the same time, for me there’s a very clear line between being open and being there for her and helping to guide her to make choices that makes sense for her, and, you know, going clubbing with her. That’s not going to happen.

About Elizabeth Lyons:
Elizabeth Lyons is many things: mom, wife, friend, lunch maker, chauffeur, hostage negotiator, author, on-call plumber, tile layer, guitar student, window washer, product designer, and on and on. One thing she is not is Superwoman.

Elizabeth lives in Arizona with her husband, five kids, two dogs, two fish, four barely surviving organic gardens, and whatever (or whomever) else has taken up residence with them in the last five minutes. She is the author of “You Cannot Be Serious - and 32 Other Rules that Sustain a (Mostly) Balanced Mom.”

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