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Eagle Mountain, Utah, United States
My name is Lauren, and I live in the bubble. I am wife to Marshall, the biggest BYU fan in the world; and mother to Carly, our big girl, and Wes, our wild man, and Calvin, our new addition. I graduated BYU with a degree in Social Work, and I went forth to serve at LDS Family Services. I like scrapbooking and going out to eat at nice restaurants. I am fascinated by new cleaning products at the grocery store, so I have to shop in wide circles around the perimeter to avoid the temptation to buy. I love chocolate.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Fair weather

Carly has lately begun to understand the concept of "friends." Actually, I believe she has understood about friends for a while. I guess what has really happened is that Carly is becoming a master manipulator.

"You're my Best Friend" is a common accolade in our home when the present adult is giving our little angel what she wants. I think this phrase has replaced "I love you" to express her approval of whatever it is we are allowing her to do.

I read a book with her, I'm her best friend.
I give her chocolate, I'm her best friend.
I turn on 'Little Einsteins,' I'm her best friend.
I play 'ponies' with her, I'm her best friend.

She is fairly easy to please.

The other time we hear that we are her 'Best Friend' is when it is whined as a plea to avoid doing something. Normally this is when she is being put in time out, or in bed. When told to do something that she does not want to do, she will yell "but your my best friend!" As if best friends would certainly never send one another to the time out spot.

Ultimately, her pleading does not work. She is still sent to bed at the normal time, regardless of friend status for the evening. This leads to her 3rd use of 'best friend':

The "You are NOT my best friend!"

This is the threat. We hear it a lot. We go from best friends, to not, to back again many times in a day. Once in a while she can hold a grudge and pick one parent as a best friend and disown the other for a while. Usually at bedtimes when Marshall is at work. She will tell me that "you are NOT my best friend! Daddy is my best friend now!"

I know she uses this to try to manipulate my conscience to give in to her wishes. I know she really believes there are power in these words. I think that the decision to offer and withdraw friendliness is the definition of fair weather friending. And so it is our duty, as parents, to not encourage it, as cute as it is sometimes. I mean, if we reward this attempt at manipulation, will she forever scheme and connive and use other people's friendships to get what she wants?

So here I am, stuck balancing friend and parent. About 10 years earlier than I anticipated this becoming an issue. :::sigh:::


Mars said...


Anonymous said...

Marshall misplaced the plus sign. Silly boy.

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