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Simple plan


Best friends forever

Some parents have the rare ability to be their kids’ best friends without ever losing their position of authority or compromising the level of respect that should exist between a parent and child. Doing so is akin to returning a 130-mph tennis serve — while blindfolded.

Despite such odds, my mom was one such parent. Even more amazing is that she accomplished the feat five times. My mom is one of my best friends. All of my siblings would say the same about her.

Over the years, and as I have waded into parenthood, I have tried to figure out how she did it. After analyzing her parenting methods, I’ve come to some conclusions about her. Following are my findings.

My mom:

Never set out to be our best friend; she determined to be a great mom.

Made it a habit to look for the best in people and in any situation.

Never tried to be our peer.

Let us know we were loved and very important to her, but our dad was even more loved and important to her.

Never demanded we read our Bible and pray; she just did so herself daily.

Treated rich, poor and everyone in between the same.

Never compared or pitted us against each other.

Always put the Lord first.

Never talked down to us.

Gave clear expectations when it came to morals, ethics and manners.

Never kept additional responsibilities from us as we mastered ones already given.

Showed us she believed in our big dreams.

Never complained, griped or threw herself pity parties.

Made going to church a priority.

Never neglected to tell us she loved us.

Now that I have three children, I can only pray they will look back one day and consider me a great dad who is also one of their best friends. If I stick to my mom’s formula of parenting, I’m confident they will.

Kirk Noonan

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