I was happy to hear that Lydia's group of friends asked me to be the "hair stylist / fashion consultant" for them before the school dance on Friday. It doesn't sound like a big deal, but for me it meant intention in parenting paid off. It might sound silly, but I've intentionally tried to be THAT mom..the one the girls want around...the one with some influence. As we drove home and they talked to me about boys or the kids who were dancing inappropriately, it made that hour and a half investment of my time worthwhile because they opened up and handed me teachable moments. It made those mind-numbing hours of reading Seventeen magazine for fashion and beauty tips reap at least SOME benefit. These are the girls who form my daughter's support system and they ALL matter to me.
I'm a little wary of the parenting experts who declare that we aren't here to be our kids' friends. If, under that friendship, there is a solid foundation, boundaries, the assurance that you will swoop in as parent in an instant when necessary, then I think being a friend to your child is ok. There are many philosophies on parenting and I'm not saying mine is the best, but it's the best for my family. Gut instinct is better than advice from "experts" trying to make a buck, including those of the Christian persuasion. (Don't even get me started on that! :)