Can we be friends with his children?

Share time, laughter, discussions, good times, be sure of their trust and benevolence as they are of ours: it is the desire of every parent. It remains to be seen if it is feasible, and even desirable ... Flavia Mazelin Salvi

"It's great your complicity! Your son treats you as a friend." I had just mentioned with a friend the video of a TED conference on writing and creativity that my 23-year-old son had sent me, thinking that she would be able to interest me and inspire me. " Friend ": the word curiously echoed in me, causing at the same time a small defensive rejection - it's my son, not my friend! - and, it must be admitted, a good dose of pride. I remember refuting the term and preferring the term "accomplice". But the worm was in the fruit, and the question "can we be friends with his child?" came back banging insistently in my mind. Although I knew that the psychologically correct answer was a frank and massive "no", something in me resisted.

Friend, accomplice, what difference? Where to place the demarcation line? Coping with his children and teens in a sixty-eight, with all that it entails generational confusion and emotional intrusion, is certainly not desirable. It seems to me, on the other hand, that once they have become young adults, wanting to create with them an accomplice relationship, rich in exchanges, like that which one can have with one's friends, is a legitimate and widely shared desire. . I am well aware that this desire for family friendship is characteristic of our time, of our culture. This is confirmed by child psychiatrist Patrice Huerre. "This would never have come to the idea of ​​our grandparents and great grandparents.This desire is linked to several factors: the change of authority, the fact of wanting to stay young as long as possible, feelings of insecurity and the fragility of family ties, difficulty in accepting conflict and, finally, the need to be reassured about one's parenting skills. at all levels, and parents expect their return on investment, the desire for friendship being one of the ways. "

A certificate of good parenthood?

Being a good parent, having the certainty, at last. Confessed or unconscious, this wish taunts many of us. One of the certificates of good parenting? Be friends with your child on Facebook . Rose, 43, mother of Chloe and Clara, 17 and 14, is delighted. It puts forward "a complicity made of shared images, small words" that allows you to "know differently, in a more playful mode".On the other hand, she evades the question of the intrusion into the intimate space, saying that she does not watch her daughters and that she is satisfied with "small incursions". 17-year-old Livia says she has blocked her mother's access to the social network. "It's too weird to have her as a friend." My refusal upset her, she told me that her friends were friends with their daughters, I did not give in, Facebook is my own thing. "

Defend your intimate territory on one side, play the card of the complicity and modernity of the parent on the other as we can see, family and transgenerational friendship has its own particular stakes, the violence of which is not absent: "Love and hatred are mixed in the child's feelings for his parents. But it must be kept in mind that this link involves violent affects, explains psychoanalyst Catherine Vanier, who is strongly tinged with the neurotic conflicts of childhood.The relationship is inevitably unequal: in the minds of parents, child remains one all his life, and in his remains for a long time the feeling that he is a promise to make for his parents, that he can not, must not disappoint. It is an enormous pressure that he undergoes, in childhood and during adolescence. "

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