Thing 1

My son’s best friend is an embarassment

LilZ and I have always called each other “Best Friend” as a term of endearment. It’s just one of our “things.” I very strongly believe it is possible to be a child’s friend and parent. People who say, “You have to be their parent, not their friend,” just don’t want to try to share the same interests as their child. I think that in order for LilZ to feel comfortable telling me if kids he knows are doing drugs, or if he has questions about sex, we have to have a strong friendship. To have this strong friendship we have to share interests and since I don’t see him wanting to talk about .CSS validation with me, I try to like the things he likes (which isn’t really that hard, he has good taste.)

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Edited to Add: A commenter said that

People (ie Dr. Phil) who say you have to be their parent, not their friend direct that towards people who make ididotic parenting decisions to save the “friendship” they have with their kids. As in “I didn’t think it was bad he liked to drink vodka at 13. We always had so much fun hanging out drinking together!”

Good point. I guess I try to be a “good” friend to my son, the kind of friend I would want him to have from kids his age. One that will encourage positive and discourage negative. Not the kind of friend that buys you cigarettes, but the kind that tells you if you have food on your face.

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He was always very proud of me around his friends. He would brag about the fun things we’d do (wearing our pajamas to the movie theater) or use me as support for things he likes (“My mom has read that book too!”) or even ask me to join him to do things (field day at school) simply because he liked my company.

It seems though? That things may be changing. LilZ relayed a conversation from school yesterday like this, “My friends were all talking about how cool you are today.” Now, imagine him saying that the same way, with the same tone and emotions he would say, “We had broiled liver and bratwurst covered in squid for lunch today.”

He sounded truly DISGUSTED.

Later, I was doing my mock-valley-girl voice making fun of someone on the radio and he told me I needed to do that for his friend tonight, so I’m not 100% embarrassing yet. I do, evidently still maintain some level of “funny.” But – I do believe he no longer sees me as “cool.” Now, he still sees me as his friend, but I’m that friend that you talk to when no one else is around, maybe some nights on the phone, but when it’s lunch time and he’s trying to decide where to sit? He’s no where NEAR my table.

11 thoughts on “My son’s best friend is an embarassment”

  1. Sounds like Gameboy – I’ve been using the new situation to my advantage when I can and am marveling at how the newer, older Gameboy is making wise choices and talking to me about them even though some of his friends think their moms are out of touch. I do think that a piece of it is age difference – younger moms (also the hot mom’s ;)) are easier to relate to for kids.

  2. I think you’re right-on about the trust that comes with the friendship between parent and child. People (ie Dr. Phil) who say you have to be their parent, not their friend direct that towards people who make ididotic parenting decisions to save the “friendship” they have with their kids. As in “I didn’t think it was bad he liked to drink vodka at 13. We always had so much fun hanging out drinking together!”
    AND I like the new design! Esp. the little starsy flowers.

  3. Ahhh…the teen years. Here’s to hoping that you don’t become totally uncool with your son. If you want me to back you up on your cool-factor, let me know. 😉

  4. My 14-year-old (I refer to him as Mr. Cool on my site so I’ll do that here as well) has gone thru this over the past couple of years. And it’s really bittersweet to see the conflict with him — he still wants me to be his best friend, but now only in private — as he makes that difficult transition. All I can do is be there for him in any way that he needs me to be. That’s all any of us can do.

  5. Awwww! (gives Zoot a big hug and pats on the back) I know EXACTLY how you feel. My kiddo doesn’t like me coming around at the school, picking her up, talking to her friends etc. I guess she thinks I’m not cool and she’s only 5!

  6. You can be a friend and parent too. So many people feel its necessary to rule over their kids…to control their kids…that to me is just a narcissistic power trip. Heather’s right, before you know it you’ll turn from “cool” to “hot”!

  7. Awww. But you know, this is just a phase and once he gets past the teen years you guys will be super-close again, I’m sure of it.

  8. Sounds like me and my mom, growing up. He’ll still think you’re cool, he just won’t allow himself to show it until he’s 25.

  9. I like it! Really I do! You have the prettiest blog in all of blog land! You are blogeriffic!

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