The Buddy Child

A friend of ours named Leanne told us she wanted to have a baby because she moved to a new town and needed a buddy. Leanne is a great mom. Her daughter, who is now eight, knows that her mom is her mom and not just her buddy — but some girls don't.

We see parents who would rather be liked by their daughter than respected. These are the parents who tell their teenage daughters of their own wild days in high school. They share their personal lives like they are roommates rather than mothers or fathers and daughters.

We (Sissy and Melissa) have both liked the television show The Gilmore Girls, but as we watched the mother-daughter relationship evolve, we often became nervous. The first few seasons showed Lorelai and her teenage daughter, Rory. Lorelai is a character who is fun, wacky, and quick, but she is also more of a roommate to Rory than a mom. During the shows we would both talk to the television, saying things like, "No, Lorelai, don't let your boyfriend sleep over. Rory is in the next room!" But Lorelai did. Rory knew all about her mother's life—to her own detriment. In turn, Rory's response was one that we see happen often. Rory became an adult at a young age. As a teenager, she actually became more responsible than her mother.

The other response we see happen is that girls will join the party. Because a girl knows her mother had sex before marriage, she doesn't feel that purity really matters. Her father smoked a lot of marijuana and is now a really good guy, so she can too, she feels.

These children are comfortable around their parents — too comfortable. Girls need boundaries. You will have the rest of your life to be your daughter's friend—and your friendship will not suffer for having disciplined her as she grew up. Boundaries help her feel safe and grounded.

Girls who get away with the worst they are capable of begin to see themselves that way. They see themselves as bad or selfish or easy. As you give your daughter boundaries and discipline, you help her be the best she can be. You help her know that you believe in who she is and who she can be.

0 0

Post a comment