Parenting is super complicated, and at times, daunting too. There’s so much you need to do, so much to keep in mind, and handle all the highs and lows of it all with gracefulness. You may have heard of how you should ditch being a parent to your kid and instead, try to be a friend. Some other counsellors and parenting experts totally go against that idea.
When I see mum’s claiming their best friend is their daughter I cringe a bit (ok a lot). I am the parent and that is my role. I do have a close relationship with my 19 year old but we are not best friends, she has her friends like I have mine. Yes, we go to the pub together, have been on holiday together to relax after exams and get on very well but we know our place!
So what is it that you should do exactly? Keep reading to find out just that and more.
Being a Friend? Really?
You might have your thoughts and opinions about why trying to be a friend to your kid can be a good idea. For starters, if you establish that sort of a relationship, the lines of communication between you both are more likely to be open, which is great.
On the downside though, that also means there’ll be less respect. You may be aiming to achieve a more relaxed dynamic in your home, but it can quickly backfire.
In fact, if you try hard to be a friend to your child, you’ll find yourself saying yes to things that you probably shouldn’t, just because you want to maintain that dynamic and comfort with your child. Eventually, this will also encourage your little one to stop asking for permission- after all, no one needs to get their friend’s permission before they do something right?
You might also want to become a friend to your kid because you would want to laugh with them, play with them and have a good time, but who says you can’t do all of that as a parent? Is it really necessary to sacrifice your authority and importance?
Why Being a Parent is Cool
Trust us on this, being a parent is actually cool, if you do it right. It might be tricky, but it is definitely do-able. It has been found that children want their parents to be the authority figures in their life- they need someone they can lean on to when they’re feeling lost, they need someone to guide them, not a buddy. You can still have a close relationship but there do need to be some boundaries in the relationship.
It may sound surprising, but yes, kids actually crave for structure in life, because that makes them feel more safe, comfortable and loved, and you can achieve that by being a parent, not a friend.
So yes, a healthy parent child relationship has all of it- the laughs, the deep conversations and the comfort, but it also has mutual respect, boundaries and a sense of security, something that no other relationship has to offer.
So the next time your kid has something to say, be there to listen, don’t judge, offer your opinion and advice, stand strong with him and love him throughout it all- it is one of the simplest ways to build a strong, unbreakable and healthy relationship with him.