My Mother My Best Friend – Part Two

Perspective on Parents As Best Friends – My Daughter’s Turn

Me:  “Sweetie, you often tell your dad and me how much you love being with us, and since you were just a little girl, you’ve always come to us first whenever you had inner turmoil or were having trouble making a difficult decision. Can you tell me why you think of both your dad and me as your “best friends?”

Daughter: “Well, mom, it’s actually very simple. You and dad established an open, honest dialogue with me from birth. You guys always took the time to sit down and listen to me without judgement or criticism. It was your openness about your own imperfections and personal struggles that helped me deal with my own crap, which made me respect you even more.”

Me: “Wow, so cool to hear you say that, especially since we both felt like we were literally throwing darts in the dark when it came to proper parenting. As we have always told you since you were old enough to understand, neither of our babies came out of the womb holding an Instruction Manual. And not only were you and your brother different because of your sex, you had completely opposite personality characteristics. Can you put into words why you never really went through that “I Hate My Parents” stage?

Daughter: “For me, I think it all comes down to connection. Not only did I love “hanging out” with you guys, because you always made it fun, but you also created an atmosphere of mutual respect. I seriously respected you both so much, I never wanted to hurt or disappoint you with my own actions. My own internal disappointment taught me the hard lessons about taking responsibility for my own actions. You gave me the space to learn that on my own. PLUS, some of my favorite memories when I was a teenager centers around Saturday afternoons – movie, bucket of popcorn, home, pizza delivery and laughter with dad as we rehashed the flick.”

Me: “We have always loved hanging out with our kids more than anything else, so that is so wonderful to hear you feel the same way! So, how about the taboo topics, like sex, drinking…etc., why do you think you have always been so open about those things with me as well as your dad?”

Daughter: “My answer to that is one word – education, and the fact that those topics were NEVER taboo! You educated both my brother and me about sex, not only from the biological aspects, but even more so the emotional aspects that go along with having sex before you are mature enough to handle it. It seems to me, you always explained things in steps that coincided with my own level of maturity. I remember one conversation in particular regarding hormones and about the difference of what boys think about vs. what girls think about when it comes to sex and romance. Drinking, drugs, and all the rest of the stuff were the same. You taught me to make good decisions and respect my own body, so none of that really interested me.” When I finally fell in love for the first time in College, whether or not to engage in sex or not, became a decision based on personal exploration and understanding of myself – not peer pressure or heat of the moment.”

Mom: “I’m so thankful for your views, those issues present some of the biggest challenges for parents. We always wanted you to learn how to trust your own instincts and give you the tools to make the wisest choices. Anything else you want to share?”

Daughter: “One of the craziest things is everything you and dad told me during middle school and high school..I mean absolutely everything…turned out to be true. The whole mean/jealous girls – boys liking the flirty, loose girls – typical teenage angst stuff completely dissolved when I went to college. High School, and the emotional roller coaster ride that goes along with it, is one big cloud of pretension that fades away soon after you get your diploma. I learned as soon as I got to college, that you could be smart, sweet and not dress provocatively, and there are a whole lot of “cool” guys out there who will like you just the way you are…..JUST like you and dad had predicted.”

Mom: “Well, that one was easy, no special genius parenting skills needed there. We were both just telling you what we had already been through. That part of adolescence never changes. Thank you for your honesty and for taking the time to share your thoughts with I’m hoping that somebody will read this and be inspired to start the dialogue with their children early, realizing how quickly those precious years will pass by. Thank you my beautiful daughter, I am thankful I get to be your MOM, and your Best Friend.”

8 thoughts on “My Mother My Best Friend – Part Two

  1. Laura Neidich says:

    Okay….now you are just showing off! (jk) You have two wonderful adult children to be proud of, and they possess the will and intelligence to respect and admire their wonderful parents! Raising happy, self-sustaining and considerate adults is the goal, and you, my friend, scored!

    • says:

      Oy vey! Let’s take a closer look at that check list, shall we? Respect and admiration..well ya, I think that one we can check off on the YES side. Happy. . .subject to change, kind of like the weather. Self-sustaining…definite work in progress, but can see a wee bit of light at the end of the tunnel. Considerate…definitely, that one I can’t dispute, at least most of the time. Let’s put it this way, they both have a full picture of all our flaws, which I guess is part of the point…right? We haven’t tried to put on a plastic front of me, they’ve seen all our warts!

  2. Cari says:

    This is priceless and insightful for so many reasons. Thanks so much for your honesty, Kara. As a mother of two young daughters this sort of post is a gift. Alison, I think you and Kevin had tremendous wisdom as you parented each stage – thankful for the example you two provide to the rest of us.

    Keep it coming LuvYa!

    • says:

      Thank you Cari for your comment. I am so thankful that you viewed this post as a gift. The older I get, my daily prayer is that I take the opportunity to give back…through touch, in words, in thoughtfulness and listening. I guess the wisest thing we probably did as parents is to remember what it was like to be a kid !

  3. Laura Neidich says:

    Raising a family is really hard work….and your offspring are intelligent enough to appreciate honesty and genuineness (is that a word?) when they see it, even in hindsight. You have done a great job, not in raising “perfect” offspring…..but in raising competent, happy adults….and that deserves kudos! Truly!

    • says:

      Thank you Jodi. I just went to your wonderful website I found your articles to be enlightening and uplifting. In my job as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor, I regularly incorporate yoga stretches, poses and breathing to enhance flexibility and alleviate stress. Yoga has certainly been a healing practice in my life. Glad to have you as a reader…I will be looking forward to future comments from you.

  4. Nanci granow says:

    I really enjoyed this entry. Though I did not always succeed, I tried to parent by many the wonderful qualities that you talked about. I somehow succeeded because I have two amazing kids who I respect and know will both be amazing parents!! You make me laugh and take care of my body in your class, and you inspire me to work on my relationships your blog!! Thanks for both. Love having you as a friend, teacher and mentor in my life.

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