How Do You Tell A Friend Their Parenting Sucks?
I'm not a judgmental parent. And I can only pray that my tween continues to be a straight A student, with good friends and no interest in boys (A mom can dream, can’t she?).
But if you have to go searching for your 16-year old at least once a week in the wee hours of the morning because she has run off again and she regularly skips school, and hides out in boys’ homes—it might be time to re-evaluate your parenting techniques. Or get some help.
I've been in a recent quandary with a very good friend of mine, whom I love dearly. She is a single mom of 3, doing her best everyday. Just like the rest of us. And I consider myself to be part of the "village" that is helping to raise her daughters. I am their "auntie" and I'm proud to be active in their lives.
But the drama with her 16-year-old has reached the point of "desperate times call for desperate measures".
Meanwhile, my friend still makes time to go out on dates or for a girls night out because she "needs a break" when she A. Doesn't know where her daughter is or B. Should probably be spending MORE time with the daughter to prevent the disappearing acts in the first place.
I've been trying to hold my tongue and be supportive because my friend is also dealing with a seriously ailing mother, but when I end up calling (and paying) a sitter for my own kids so I can knock on doors and drive the streets looking for your child, I'm wondering if that gives me some space to say something.
I don’t want to say, she’s handling this all wrong. But that’s exactly what I think.
Instead, I’ve tried to be encouraging. Make some suggestions. I’ve encouraged her to figure out, even with the help of a professional, why her daughter is “acting out.” I suggested some house rules and consequences she could commit to. She takes it all in. But the next week, we are right back where we were before. I think she is just so overwhelmed and unable to take action, but I don’t think mothers always have that luxury. When your kid is in crisis it’s time to put your big girl pants on and deal with the situation head on.
Maybe that’s just me.
Am I enabling her by not giving her the tough love advice I think she needs? Or should I just keep my mouth shut, help when I can and worry only about my own two children?
Has anyone else ever been in this situation? Would you speak up if your best friend's parenting strategy needed to be checked??
More parenting issues:
- Unconditional Love: A Parenting Lesson I Learned From My Daughter
- Talking Sex To Your Teen
- Woman Arrested For Putting 5-Year-Old Daughter In Tanning Booth