Befriending your Kids: Is It Easy?
‘My parents are so cool, I can get sloshed with them’, ‘My folks are so uptight I can’t speak to them about anything’ – there is a vast gap between the two. The trick is to find the midpoint with care, lest the fragile egos we are working with get hurt. Neither end of the spectrum is advisable, and a mid-point is always the most difficult to find and then follow.
‘I will not leave you alone even if you want me to – like your friends. I will hound you and get the truth out of you.’ – some wise mom said this on the internet, and this set the ball rolling on this piece.
Let’s face some truths about friends as thought of by your kid – they accept me for who I am, they let me come around at my own time, don’t judge me by my messy room, don’t watch every step I take with starry eyes. Given that there are no expectations in friendships, are we willing to accept such an equation with our kids? Can we ever be anywhere close to being our kid’s friend? Let’s find out.
Friends Accept us for who we are
Kids think that friends do not demand that they strive harder and harder, and aim for the best. They are content to let each one take the lead on their life. However, from a parent’s perspective, does that go against the whole point of egging their children to achieve perfection? Maybe, maybe not. If we are our little one’s friend, won’t we automatically be expected to adhere to the same parameters as set by their peers?
Leave Me Alone
Friends take this three-word phrase very seriously. We do that with ours, so how different can our kids and her friends be? But, can we do that with our little one? Can we leave her alone when we know something is obviously bothering her? As a parent, it is our job to probe until we get to the bottom of the issue and help them get over it.
Doing The Chores
That’s an automatic no-no. We are never asked to partake in household chores by our friends, and we don’t ask them either. However, again from a parents perspective, it’s a different matter. We believe that by asking them to participate in household activities, we are teaching them important aspects of life such as responsibility, community living and so on. As a parent, it is our duty to impart these values in our kids – a friend has no such responsibilities.
A Friend – A Role Model?
As parents, we all hope that we are role models for young ones to follow. But as a friend we automatically lose that right. None of us look at our friends as role models – we all just hang out together living our own lives. While the title of ‘the’ role model is heavy to carry, being one of them is a good place to be in. And as a friend, we may not be in a position to have such expectations of our kids.
As parents, we can’t have the best of either world. We are constantly picking and choosing the best of the opportunities presented in the world we inhabit. We may choose to be our kid’s friend or be the one who controlled every nitty-gritty detail of their life. Alternatively, you may choose to be the person they look upto and be assured that they can come to you when it is a matter they are not able to resolve. The choice is yours.