Family Relationships: They Start Young

"Thank you Mommy, you're my friend!"

The little girl's request had been granted, and she was elated. She reached for a hug before going to play, but her mothers' words stopped her as she pulled back from the quick embrace.

"No, I'm not your friend, just your mommy." was her almost sharp reply.

The words sent a pang to my heart. Why was it that this mother felt she and her young daughter could not be friends? My mama and I have long been friends - since I was able to converse. 
Of course, that that relationship has changed ever the years. It's blossomed and bloomed into a close-knit friendship, very different than when I was three, or even thirteen. 
We are dear and close friends.

Some may scoff that such a thing is even possible, while others are relieved that their child keeps his or her distance. Who wants to spend time with someone that wild and unruly anyway? Still others, long for that, but don't know how to find it.
The best way is to start young.

Be there for your child. Love them unconditionally, and realize that there is more to parenting than training and discipline. I have seen relationships broken because a parent cannot seem to love their child unconditionally, and see them as another human, with real and true feelings.
Be their friend, keep their secrets, love them for who they are, and build a solid foundation when they are young, so that there is something for the relationship to stand on when the going gets rough. Because at some point or another, it will, and that's part of living in a fallen world. I've seen those that have a good relationship, and lose it somewhere along the way. It  takes work to repair a broken relationship. My own relationships are far from perfect.

I'd like to be able to tell you that relationships with your children are that simple, and everything can be fine and rosy, but I can't. We are all sinners, far from perfect, and in need of a Savior. We all make mistakes, and that's where we have to learn to give and receive grace.

But I am thankful, SO thankful, that my mama has always loved me, and has always been my friend.


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