As mothers, we wrestle every day with the question of how to be the best parents to our children. Should we be tough or lenient? Helicopter or free-range? And, as is so common now, should we be our kids’ best friend?
To that last question, Dancing With the Stars‘ Brooke Burke-Charvet has a definite answer. She’s a mom first and foremost – hard as it is sometimes.
In her latest blog for her Modern Mom website, Brooke talks about her sometimes challenging relationship with oldest daughter Neriah, a typical tween who’d rather shut herself in her room with her electronics than hang with her mom, her stepdad David Charvet and the rest of the family.
A well-intentioned mom advised Brooke to talk only about good things with her kids and give them nothing but positive feedback. Brooke thanked her, but privately thought the mother was “either completely out of control or completely insane.”
That approach, says the dancer-author-CEO, goes against her firm belief that a mother has to be a parent, not a buddy. To her, that means letting kids know what’s expected of them and making sure they live up to those expectations.
Brooke prides herself on “teaching my children to be decent human beings,” she blogs. “Which means I’m all over them when it comes to manners, when it comes to being conscious of the world around them and other people, being considerate people, and learning to be responsible human beings.”
So while she lavishes privileges on her four children (ranging in age from 11 to almost 4) for good grades and good behavior, she’s not afraid to crack down on them when they get sassy, slack off on homework or exhibit poor table manners. The kids may not be crazy about this approach, but this mom isn’t trying to win a popularity contest.
“I think being a parent is much harder than being a friend,” Brooke says. “And being willing to sacrifice that pitch and catch, that give and take exchange of love is really hard and really painful at times. But I’m hoping that when we look back at this phase of our life, that it will be for the right reasons and they’ll know I taught them valuable life lessons.”
Most of all, she concludes, she wants her kids to grow up knowing that they can always count on her when they need her – a quality you can’t always rely on in a friend.
What’s your take? Is it possible to be both a mom and a pal, or is it more important to be the one in charge and teach the kids right from wrong?
[Photo: via PacificCoastNews.com]
Read more of Shana’s writing at Momsperiments.
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