Here is what I told my children regarding the best friend status “I will be your best friend, but you can’t be mine.” There is only one relationship that you should have with your children and that is Mommy and Daddy. They, on the other hand, can have multiple relationships with you (best friend, dance partner, gopher), but you are the parent and all that the role entails. NEVER STEP OUTSIDE OF YOUR ROLE AS THE PARENT. When you step outside of your parent role, you give up the right to say “YOU DID WHAT?” OR “HECK NO WE CAN’T TALK ABOUT IT.” You are not equals!
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Doctor J: Is there a middle ground? You want your child to be able to talk to you. Also, why is “Hell no we can’t talk about it,” a viable option if you are trying to increase your communication with your children. You don’t want to be so inflexible as a parent, do you? You can still have the respect as the parent but, you can also be open to the “sleepover”–all covers are off.
There is no middle ground. The only reason that our children want to be our BFF is so that they can tell us “stuff” without consequence. They want to share inappropriate things with their BFF and not get a “Mommy” response. Well, that’s not going to happen. Don’t let them tie your hands in the name of friendship.
By the way, I also let my children know that they have “no expectation of privacy.” I check pockets, purses, drawers, and any other place that may hold secrets. Now what BFF would do that!!!!!!!