Home Singers and their Kids BRANDY: WHEN IT COMES TO MY DAUGHTER, I’M A FRIEND FIRST

BRANDY: WHEN IT COMES TO MY DAUGHTER, I’M A FRIEND FIRST

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Singer Brandy considers herself to be a be “a good example of a young, single mom.” The star says that when it comes to her soon-to-be eight-year-old daughter Sy’rai, she is a friend above all else.

“A lot of mothers feel like they’re the mom first, with that authority. But for me, I’m a friend first. I believe that just being there for my daughter as a friend more than ‘I’m in charge…’ causes her to be more open with me as a person. That’s just what our relationship is. Of course, there are times when I have to discipline her — I’m mom. But there’s still that nurturing and love there that we have. I know I’ll probably get flack for being a friend first, but it really works. She’s really honest with me. I’m just teaching her how to trust herself. I tell her all the time that my life is not your life — you have your own life.”

She continues, “At the end of the day we’re going to be friends. When she grows up, it’ll be about that friendship that we’ll have. She’ll come to me for any problems that she has. If I have an authoritative wall up, she’s going to rebel and not come to me and I don’t want that.”

Read More of Brandy’s interview at Parade.com

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58 COMMENTS

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  4. i love how black people think that beatin their kids is the best way. you also have to be there for them. that’s what b’s tryin to say. her relationship with sonja was rocky when she was growin up. especially when her career took off. she does discipline Rai like any other mother would. in times like this, parents need to build a friendly relationship with their kids. so it will be easier for the child to open up about anything to their parents. plus..no parenting style is the same. and children aren’t raised the same way as others.

  5. LET BRANDY RAISE HER KIDS HOW SHE FEELS!!!!

    Dag, you guys are so judgemental its ridiculous. There’s NO ONE SIZE FITS ALL.

  6. I can believe that about Brandy. Brandy is ghetto, watch the show. Above all she needs to be a parent. Knew Brandy was ghetto when she said The Game was soft of the eyes. Ugggggggggggggggggg, where, nothing can make that man soft to my eyes.

  7. Good luck with that…I have a 14 yr old and I tell her when she is grown(21 and over)we can be friends, right now I don’t need a 14 yr old as my friend, I am your mother not your friend, and my daughter is honest and open with me…

    • I agree with you completely. My mother was an authority figure in my teenage years, but I could talk to her if needed. And I never got into trouble because I knew I had to be in line. As a mother and wife now, me and my mother are great friends. I don’t think a mother should be a friend while they are young they have plenty they need someone to keep them in line. When they get older that is when you can be a friend.

  8. I find that some women… black women, and hispanic women tend to cater to their male children. And are kind of hard on their female off spring.. I’ve experienced this I have cousins in the hundreds and find that the mothers are hard on the females, while the males get a way with murder..
    Something I noticed about Brandy and her mothers relationship was.. Momma wore many hats in Brandy’s career, and may not have been able to turn of some of those professional positions when Brandy needed a “friend”.
    I can’t see being a “friend” to my 8 year old. Why can’t you just be a well balanced parent.. Because the label friend is thrown around by children, and just like yesterdays newspaper they are of little importance.. Besides wouldn’t you say you and your friends have things in common? Well besides being related, and loving her what do they have in common? Being a mother doesn’t mean you are a drill sergent…

    • I have to agree w/you. I have 7 brothers (no sisters) & my brothers all got away w/murder. They did something wrong & it was my fault for not making sure they didn’t. But my mother was soooo hard on me, it made our relationship very strained.

      Now that we are all adults…I’m the only successful child she has. My brothers are either knuckleheads, on drugs or in prison.

      I’m as hard on my son as he needs it, just as I am as proud of him as he needs.

    • I agree w/ you Zogie. You know, I am generally of this same belief even though that wasn’t necessarily my experience, but I still see it. There’s a saying that I am probably about to butcher, but it goes “Mothers raise their daughters, but spoil their sons.” Something like that. I do find that a lot of women coddle their sons and a lot of males are mama boys. I think it does a man a huge disservice. Also, when I think of friendships I think of commonalities. So what does an 8 year old and an adult have in common?

  9. I was just reading the Taraji thread, and I thought, she echoes my sentiment as far as parenting. So many parents don’t want to be their children’s authoritarian. But if not you, who? We all have to answer to authority in our life, and to me, the parent should be the first line of authority. That’s not to say that they should be a dictator, but there’s a balance (as others have said).

    I kind of see it as the parent is the bow, and the child is the arrow. You direct them in the right way, and hopefully, the will stay on course.

    End rant.

    • Preach child preach.

      If you are not the first authority figure in your child’s life, then someone else will & it may just be the police or judiciary system.

  10. oh wow!!!
    she is in for a world of hurt with that kind of attitude! you can be a parent first and still teach your children that they can trust you and talk openly with you. there needs to be a balance and they just don’t have it.

  11. I belive that you are and need to be a parent first and if you get that right then when they are adults that’s when you get to enjoy their friendship!

  12. I love Brandy but she has always been kind of “child-like” like Micheal Jackson. I love them both but Brandy need to be her daughter’s mom first than a friend second.

    • Parents play many roles but parenting should always be first. It is my understanding Michael was a very good father; parenting was first. I’ve seen many vids of Michael disciplining his children with love. Paris said it best “Daddy was the best father…” From what I’ve read his children are very well adjusted and very smart. He took his education into his own hands. Michael monitered there diets and tried to make sure his kids ate right. They had limited access to sweets. Parents do those things not friends!
      Michael might have been eccentric but he relished the role of father.
      Brandy can learn from his example and other good parents like Sherley!
      RIP MJ! One year later it’s still fresh!

  13. Yaah…good luck with that Brandy..for now when she’s only 8 it seems wonderful..but what about when she’s 16 and is asking you to buy alcohol for her & her friends…or when she stays out till 3am and she’s 15…because you guys are just friends..she thought it was ok…being a friend to your children is so important, but it is also so important for them to know that your the authority and the MOTHER…not the BESTIE….

  14. wow… mom first then comes the friendship… well maybe she wanted a “friend” in HER mom.. didnt get it thats y its important for her to be her kids FRIEND… its all about treating ur kids equal!! u can tell her mom took more to ray… no fair no but sooo clear!
    god is great. god bless the child for they learn what WE teach them..

    yo no say!! lol

  15. I will have to disagree with Brandi. Familiarity breeds contempt. And parents who are the children’s friends find it hard to maintain any form of authority in their young lives. These kids grow up thinking they can do anything because they have no fear nor respect for their parents. Parents should be parents. When the child becomes an adult, then they can develop a friendship. I’m not saying that a parent should be cool and distant disciplinarian; but they should be firm enough for their child to know that misbehavior will not be tolerated, and loving enough for the child to know that Mom/Dad love and care for them.

  16. well, I would say that there should be a balance. There should be an open and loving relationship but with the understanding that Brandy is still mommy, but I can understand how she feels after watching the show

  17. I can understand being a firm yet fair parent, but friend? They can find friends at school, thank you very much. Most of the ’90s born children acting a fool now had grown ‘best friends’ instead of parents.

    • Leo…if you don’t speak the truth.

      My mother decided to be my youngest brother’s friend. Well he hit 17 & ended up behind bars. He always regarded me as his mother figure as I was 18 when he was born. Well he called my mom to bail him out & my mom called me to ask me what should she do. I reply was you should have beat his a** like you did mine.

  18. I understand were Brandy is coming from and if you watch the reality show with her own mother you can probably see why she has chosen to parent her daughter the way she has. There are different ways to parent and if this way works for her good luck,but usually being your child’s friend before being a parent doesn’t work especially as they get older and they tend to test your authority.

  19. After watching their show it sounds like this whole family has it backwards!

    With the favoritism, Ray J being irresponsible, unprofessional & running wild but never get called out on it (b/c apparently he can do no wrong), yet Brandy can’t seem to please Mom. Dad (I do like Willy Sr, but…)it always seems like he is sitting on the side lines…and doesn’t get involved until AFTER the fact when he decides to offer advice and say how it SHOULD have been dealt with. And Brandy wanting to be her daughters friend first…

    Obviously everyone is free to raise their kids the way they want… wouldn’t be my parenting style.

  20. Brandy’s daughter is such a cutie. It is hard to believe that she is already 8 years old. I remember when Brandy gave birth to her.

    I honestly don’t think she meant friend in every sense of the word. Moreso, she does not want her daughter to be so intimidated by her that she won’t confide in her. I don’t think she means they will go to the club together or that she will allow Sy’rai to do whatever she wants.

    Besides, Brandy is a strong example for her daughter in so many ways. She did not allow her breakup from with her father to break her. She also did not let Hollywood tell her she couldn’t make it because she wasn’t drop dead gorgeous. Also, she has been successful at both acting and singing and still remains relevant in a tough industry.

    On a side note, for some reason, they remind me of a younger version of Whitney Houston and her daughter, Bobbi K.

    • Well said!!!! Except the Whitney part there’s no comparison. Whitney has a lot of issues and she lets her daughter kind of run her, or play the mother role to her (whitney) since she’s in such bad shape emotionally.

    • Honestly, I believe she meant it exactly in the spirit in which it was said. It is quite clear on what her parenting style is. You can be a parent without having this “authoritative wall” up or being so intimidating. I am unsure of how it will work out, but I believe that she is on a slippery slope with this one.

    • I agree with you on this (sans the whitney part because I don’t think syrai will play the parent role like bobbi k has to). As for the rest of the comments saying how parents should be parents, one ideal of what a parent is is not the end all be all. you have to take each child’s personality and deal with them accordingly. don’t throw all “kids” into the same kettle and don’t suppress them with your ideology. they are human beings becoming and have to grow to be what they want to be-not how you expect them to be. if you take the approach and set the guidelines early there will be a very good understanding.

      • How you parent your children should be the same across the board for all children.

        How you handle them & their situations should adjust accordingly w/each child.

        You cannot be a permissive parent to one child & an authoritative parent to the other child.

    • To clarify, I mean they remind me of Whitney and Bobbi K in terms of physicality. Bobbi K was like Sy’rai when she was younger, cute with a little bit of baby phat and jet black, shiny hair. Whitney has always been thin and statuesque like Brandy, except when she was pregnant with Bobbi and gained a little weight like most pregnant women.

      I just got a sense of deja va staring at that picture. I have no clue what Bobbi K’s relationship is like with Whitney. Also, Sy’rai is way to young to play mother to Brandy.

  21. Hmm… My mother was a mother to me first (and still is). I think it’s all about the type of relationship a parent establishes with their child that determines whether or not the child feels comfortable talking to them or coming to them when in need. I feel like I can talk to my mother about anything, even as an adult, and she never had to act like my “friend”. I don’t know, I talk(ed) to my friends way differently than I talk to my mother- even about the same subjects. Sometimes, you need a mother, not a friend. However Brandy chooses to raise her child, I pray she is raised in love.

    Btw, her daughter is beautiful. Looks just like her mommy-friend:)

  22. @Aliya, I agree with you.

    Personally, I believe if a PARENT does their job right, they and their child can establish a very open, trusting, safe relationship. My mother was my parent, but trust and believe, I could go to her about anything, BUT, I knew there was a very fine line regarding respecting her as such, and I knew not to cross it.

    Being a parent is a huge responsibility. I think sometimes when you start talking about being your kid’s friend, the lines of respect can become blurred.

    With that said, more power to Brandy and Sy’rai. If it works for her, so be it. Sy’rai is adorable, and it looks like mommy and daughter are close.

    P.S. Brandy, you are in charge that’s why you are the parent and she’s the soon-to-be 8 year old. Who else is going to guide her if you don’t?

    • “Who else is going to guide her if you don’t?”

      So true Teri. You don’t want her other friends guiding her.

  23. Wow! Brandy is as dumb as I thought she was. LOL! She should be a parent first. An 8 year old needs a parent, especially one living in a broken home. She can find friends all over school and the playground. Friends come a dime a dozen but a good parent may be the only time the real truth and the right direction enters your life and sends you on the right course.

  24. That usually doesn’t work out. Parents should be parents first and hopefully friends too, but that’s not always possible. She’ll have her own friends, a lot of kids with tough AND loving parents end up friends as adults, even if there’s a rough patch when they’re teens when they have to do the most hardcore parenting (which they need).

  25. I am a parent first, I believe when some people try to be a friend with their child/ern there is no respect. I have a friend who tried being a friend with her children and it blew up in her face.

    • @aries, that’s so true, and I wonder if parents want to be their children’s “friend” because they don’t want to have to deal with the unpleasantries of the authority that does go along with being a parent. They don’t want their children to be angry at them, so maybe they play it safe and try to be on the same level as their children.

  26. I watched some episodes of the reality show and I can see why she has taken that stance actually. She doesn’t feel that love from her mother. I have the same issues, even down to my mother preferring her sons to her daughters like Sonia seems to prefer Ray J. But I think she has to learn to strike a better balance between being a parent and being a friend. It can’t be all one or the other. Now that I”m a mother I have some of the same fears but I know that I will do a better job of giving my baby the love she deserves and I don’t have to forgo being a parent in the process.

  27. I read somewhere else that she decided to have this type of friend relationship w/her daughter because she has the other type of relationship w/her mom & it’s strained. But her mom has a friend relationship w/Ray J & it works.

    We all make decisions based on our upbringing & surroundings.

    I stand my ground…I’m my son’s mother first & he still tells me everything & I do mean everything….*rolls eyes lovingly*.

  28. You cannot be your child’s friend. That’s what their peers are for.

    If you are her friend first, when you need to be her mother, she’ll get the most resistance & will have less respect for you. She’s not supposed to tell you everything, just like you are not supposed to tell your children everything. It is your responsibility to stay on top of her & find things out.

    It may work now, because she’s only 8, but as she gets older, it will backfire. I have too many friends & family members who that has happened to & they have regretted it. I wonder if her mom was that way w/her & Ray J…it sure would explain alot.

    I am my 14 yr old son’s parent, teacher, role model & friend. Have been that way all his life & will be till the day end of time.

  29. Good luck with that. There’s a luck of the draw involved with the whole “Friendship” aspect of parenting. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. While it’s great to be “friendly” with your child, I’m not so sure that being a “friend first” is the best idea, but that’s just my opinion.

  30. Her daughter is cute but way too many parents are trying to be their kids friends before parent. PARENT ALWAYS First sorry but that’ my opinion.

    • I agree 100% with you. My daughter Aaliyah is 9, and I will always be mama first, friend second. She needs to learn by example and I do my best to be the best MAMA I can. She will have plenty of friends.

    • I am in total agreement with you Aliya. These were my exact thoughts. Being her friend first at 8 years old is misplaced in my opinion, but to each his or her own.

    • i agree. she can have enough friends at school, but she only has one mom. so she needs to have some type of authority.

    • I so agree, I have two daughters and I will always be mom first.A mom they can talk to but mom first always. It’s funny that she says that when she says all the time on her show how her mom was her manager and not her mom first and she wanted that. But we all raise our children differnt so more power 2 her and her way

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