The Benefits of Having Your Mom as BFF
We’ve all heard people (and, OK, ourselves) admit sheepishly, "Yeah, my mom’s my best friend." It's not just Loralei and Rory who have a relationship that goes beyond mother-daughter into confirmed-BFF territory. But sometimes there’s nothing nicer than going window shopping with mom after a long day of school, or just hanging out together at home, just the two of us, talking about random things, super comfortable with each other’s company. It’s undeniable—having my mom there for us during hard times or even after an exhausting day is a comforting feeling. But bet you didn’t know (or expect) that it’s actually really great for your mental and social health to have a friend in your mom.
A study of 1,600 teens by the University of Toronto found that having parents who are emotionally and physically available to teens—particularly girls—is important when it comes to increasing happiness and reducing risky behavior. The researchers even discovered that mother-teen time could even be more important during adolescence than during childhood, because of all the stress we're put under during teen-hood! Add this to the pressures of getting good grades, plus worries about body image and social media. Life is not easy! But your mom can make it easier. My mom does! Here's how I make the most of my time with her.
1. Help your mom make dinner. Even if you've never even scrambled an egg before, ask to help. Not only will she be happy to have another hand—do you have any idea how many different utensils cooking dinner requires?!—but you'll also get a chance to hang together...and to taste-test. Taste-testing rules.
2. Ask for her help with homework. This way you get schoolwork done (which reduces stress!), and you're also able to spend time with your mom (which also reduces stress!). She doesn't have to be a mathematician or a scientist to help. For writing assignments in particular, it's always good to have another set of eyes on your stuff.
3. Work out together. It's been scientifically proven that doing moderate to intense exercise can dramatically improve your mood, state of mind, and overall health. Sign up for a yoga class together. Train for a 5K. Or just go for a walk (hey, if you're moving it's technically moderate).
4. Watch TV. The only reason I ever came to love Downton Abbey is because my mom made (yep, made!) me watch it with her one night. I begrudgingly agreed, and now it's one of my favorite shows. My mom and I both sobbed over the news that it's ending.
While she might not be as rad (right now!) as my friends, she is a constant figure in my constantly-changing life and she’ll always be there for me, especially when I need her the most.
By Lauren Lancaster, 15