Saturday, February 13, 2010

Defining Relationships

Several times this weekend, people have said to me, "Oh, you're so lucky you gave birth to a girl, you two will be such good friends." I immediately responded - in a non hostile, non holier than thou way - that it was actually much more important that I be Raphaela's mother than her friend; that my child know that there are boundaries in her life and that she is responsible for her actions and behaviour.

Of course I hope that along with the mothering comes a love, a mutual respect and that my daughter will not be embarrassed to be seen with me; maybe even choose to hang out with me once in a while. Ultimately, however, I must impart a value system and establish the rules that will keep her safe and happy and directed toward positive goals, and as a single parent, I play both Mother and Father ie Good Cop and Bad Cop.

I cannot claim to understand the secrets to successful parenting, as I have only been on the job for four and a half months. In fact, most of my knowledge and decisions until this point come from books and Super Nanny type programs from the BBC, along with my intuition. But I am sure that children appreciate rules, because it shows that the person actually wants them to live a contented life and come home safely at night, to people who love them.


Commenter Abbi said...

I think these pple mean when she's older and basically an adult. I've been best friends with my mom since I was about 16. I live in Israel and she lives in the U.S. and we talk every day about almost everything. It's nice. If you're lucky, you can both relationships with your daughter.

shoshi said...

You should absolutely read "people of the book" by geraldine brooks.

The framework story is a fascinating description of the relationship between a single mother and her daughter. I laughed, I cried, I just loved it.