Friday, August 21, 2009

Growing Up and Growing Apart

Do you have friends that have children the same ages as yours, and for awhile you seemed very on par on most aspects of the whole parenting racket? Then, slowly and stealthily, you realize that bond is slipping through the proverbial discipline philosophy cracks?

I have friends that I saw eye to eye on in terms of most parenting practices for many, many years. However, as our children get older and issues go from diapering and feeding to makeup and peers, it seems many of those close friendships are beginning to change.

We all want our kids to succeed and to be healthy and well rounded. THAT hasn't changed. But how we go about achieving those goals, and what we see as important on the grand scale, has certainly shifted.

It's difficult to regard those friendships the same because you just know that what you value, on a basic level, is very different. And it's strange to come to that realization because you always felt you were on the same page-how dare they change that up now!!!

Now, I just try not to ruffle feathers. I agree to disagree. Actually, most times, I just choose not to answer the queries about "what do you think?" because I know if I do, it's not going to be pretty. Most people think they are right. Their way is the right course of action. And how can you make them see that maybe they are pushing too hard or not enough, are too competitive or too lackadaisical, are too lenient or too strict.

I welcome input from others, and I see sometimes that I could change something I previously thought and try a new way. That doesn't mean I always do, or will. I often think I'm doing pretty well. I think many others though, truly, don't want to hear your advice or your objective opinion, even when they've asked. Does that mean that even in parenting circles we're reverting to a "don't ask, don't tell" policy? I hope not.

Eventually, these friendships will right themselves again as we begin to struggle through the teen years together, where we are all floundering like the toddler stages, once more. Or, they'll just gradually move away to more agreeable parenting cohorts.

Being both a parent and a friend. It's a tough gig.

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