Miss Frugal is almost 13 now and I think we have a great mother and daughter relationship.
We’re also friends.
Now, I know some of you will be shaking your head at me saying that we’re friends because I see lots of people saying that they’re a parent and not a friend to their children and although I understand why people say that, I don’t agree at all.
Don’t get me wrong though, I am a parent first and I always make decisions with my parent hat on but I do believe that there’s a way to be both a parent and a friend to my daughter by sticking to a few simple guidelines.
I respect her
I understand that she won’t always agree with what I say and I always listen to her point of view before making a decision. If I don’t agree when she has had the chance to share her point of view then I explain why I don’t agree. She isn’t always happy with the outcome but at least she (usually) understands and at least she knows I listened to her.
I allow her the freedom to be herself
We’ve had a few battles over the years because she hasn’t wanted to wear what I want her to wear or do things I think she should do. In the past I’ve pushed her and tried to make her come around to my way of thinking but it’s just not worth it most of the time. I may think she should take opportunities that I would have loved when I was her age but you know what? She isn’t me, she is who she is and I’m very proud of her.
I choose my battles
We’re going to have many battles throughout her teenage years and I imagine that ‘No’ is a word I’m going to become very familiar with but sometimes I choose not to say no. I choose not to argue and say no just because I can as a parent. Does it really matter if she has a late night every now and again or if she has McDonalds for her tea occasionally just because she fancies it?
Like I said, we’re not always going to agree and sometimes a compromise is the way to go. Lately, she’s been wanting to wear make up for school. Whilst I don’t want to encourage her to follow everyone else and I’m not that keen on her wearing make up for school, the rules say she can and I understand why she wants to. As a compromise, I went shopping with her and we bought some nice tinted moisturiser for her to wear and some make up remover to make sure she takes it off properly on a night. It’s light enough so she doesn’t look ridiculous but she’s happy with it.
I’m there for her
No matter what I’m doing, if she needs me then I’m there. If she asks me a question or she needs my help or even just a hug then I stop what I’m doing and give her my undivided attention. She in turn knows that she can come to me with anything and believe me she’s asked some questions that have had me blushing. If she hears things at school or she’s has any questions about anything then she is never shy in asking them. Which leads me to the next one….
I tell her the truth. Always.
I never lie to her or tell her that she’s too young to know something and I never have. It might be a difficult conversation or an embarrassing one but we have it nonetheless. I love that she knows that she can talk to me about anything and I don’t want that to change.
Ultimately, my aim is to be the best Mum I can be but if I can do that whilst maintaining the great relationship we have right now then I’ll be very happy.
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Image credit Evgeny Atamanenko Shutterstock