Luke, I am your father…not your friend

Ok, so I’m not up on the Star Wars reference (I know it, but I’m possibly the only person who has not watched the film). But here’s the thing – I am going to be my children’s parent, not their friend.

It always amazes me when people say they want to be their child’s friend. It amazed me more when I heard that someone had said it on a parenting course that I had been thinking of attending. I’ve had years of experience of being a friend, so if I need a course on anything it’s certainly not that.

But the larger question is why? Why do you want to be your child’s friend? Your child will have many friends in their lives, but parents are available in limited quantities. Why sell yourself short?

I suspect (or hope) that when people say this they mean that they want a open, trusting relationship with their child. But a parent’s relationship is so much more than that. It’s safe, a sounding board, a place for giving and receiving recognition and security. It is unconditional, and infiltrated by the history of raising the child. It is this almost-paradox where roots are given and wings encouraged.

So, BabyBoy and BabyGirl, I am not your friend. I am so much more than that.

Children, I am your mother…

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