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.)
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.
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.