Parenting Isn’t Always Popular

Parents often talk about how tough parenting is. How difficult it is to raise children, especially teenagers. I agree that anything monumental is challenging and there is nothing more monumental than parenting so I get the reaction to the abundant responsibility.

However; most parental blues come from the desire to people-please, kid please, and “fit in” with other parents. Anyone on that track is destined to fail in one way or another.

My daughter tells me all the time that I am her best friend and it use to rub me the wrong way. I would bark “I am not your BFF, I am your Mother”. I wanted her to understand the design and order of the relationship. I am responsible for shaping her. Molding her. Teaching her. Equipping her. Protecting her. Disciplining her. Correcting her. Loving her.

A BFF does not have all of that responsibility. I wanted her to be clear so when I told her NO, or gave an instruction she did not agree with or understand that she always understood that I parent from a sacred space. A place that is higher than friendship. A Divine place.

We talked about this again this weekend, after I indulged in selfies with her and girl talk. She explained to me that I am her Best Friend because of our love and connection. She told me that no one could ever replace me. She doesn’t run to her friends for their opinion like her other friends, she runs to me.

We were saying the same thing, just differently.

I am honored to be her BFF and her Mother. It became even more evident that she understands my WHY when I pulled her from a dance show. The wardrobe was inappropriate, the theme was inappropriate and the bat eyelashes and 18-inch ponytails were a HELL NO for my 13-year-old daughter.

When I told her I was pulling her after getting nowhere with the dance director, Hannah did not flinch. She did not object. She understood the “hypersexual” experience and programming I was protecting her from and some kind of way, we landed on an R. Kelly discussion.

It is my responsibility to cultivate her childhood and prepare her for adulthood. Preparation is not pushing her into a realm that she is not equipped to handle emotionally, physically, intellectually or spiritually. She still looks very much like a 13-year-old girl, well how they use to look before all the hormones in food but even if she was developed, she is still a child. Developed body parts do not equate to womanhood.

She is not a little woman and I will protect her childhood until she reaches adulthood and I do not give a damn about who doesn’t like it. And for the record, my protection doesn’t expire when she turns 18 because she will still have growing and developing to do.

Our bond is a sacred one. My arms will forever serve as her love blanket and my advocacy for her will never expire. Everything I was when I held her in my arms for the first time will be who and what I will always be.

Parenting is not a democratic process. It is a sacred one and sacred is never popular.

~Dana Lena’


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