Buddy Parenting


The latest trend in child nicknames is Buddy according to a recent NYT article. The article says that not only is the nickname common, but the style of parenting that goes with it is also on the rise. Buddy Parenting. Treating your kid like your friend, your buddy, is common with parents who want to treat their children differently than they were treated. In his book, The Happiest Toddler on the Block, author Harvey Karp, writes about this:


Kim John Payne, author of Simplicity Parenting, points out that Buddy Parenting can create a lack of boundaries for the child and can lead to anxiety. Children without boundaries can often feel as if their little worlds are out of control.


When I was a kid, my dad didn’t call me Buddy. He called me Sara. I think it started when I was about six years old. Sara Edwards was the female anchor on the nightly show Evening Magazine. Every time my dad called me Sara, I thought of her, in the lights, sharing her work as a writer, a journalist, a totally famous super star on a local tv show. I knew that my dad believed in me. In my ideas. In my ability. He knew that one day, if I wanted it, I too could be the most awesome woman in the world on tv every night sharing her ideas. I had a lot of really great ideas.

Our kids don’t have to be our friends to be awesome. They can hear “no” when it needs to be said. It’s okay. And it’s okay to really like our kids, too, because they are awesome and funny and smart and one day will be… well, taller. We don’t really know what they’ll be. But they’ll probably be awesome.

Riley isn’t my buddy, she’s my Riley Roozle. My daughter with a nickname that means absolutely nothing. I’m not her friend, I’m her mom. It’s just my job to remind her that she’s pretty awesome and I believe in her. From now on, I’m going to start calling her Oprah.

Did you have a nickname growing up? What did it mean to you?

Pictured above: Me and My Buddy. And my super cool older brother wearing his sunglasses in the house.
Edited by Kristie Helms. Life rules.

Author: Casey

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