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Being a Parent or Friend to Your Child?

Well, this is something that keeps cropping up during my discussion with most parents. They really want to be their child’s friend. I guess this new generation of parents do not want to appear strict and demanding. They want to give enough freedom to the child and become their friend.

While many of us really want to grow close to our children, there is a flip side to this. The more freedom we give the child and the more we give in to their desires, the harder it becomes for the child to understand the true nature of the world. By saying this I am not recommending a strict atmosphere at home. There needs to be a balance between everything.

In fact, a parent is the world to the child. Which means the parent is a:

  • Friend – During times of play, in silly games and when having fun.
  • Mentor – While teaching and guiding the child.
  • Chef – While cooking and feeding nutritional food.
  • Guardian – When they get into trouble.
  • Doctor/Nurse – While the child is sick.
  • Chauffeur – While taking the child everyday to school.
  • Grand Parent – While reading and sharing stories.
  • Maid – While cleaning their room.
  • God – While fulfilling their wishes.

And many many more.

As a parent it’s important to play the right role at the right time. There needs to be tremendous amount of awareness about how the situation is and behave accordingly.

When a child is really behaving badly, any amount of soft talk might not help. At the same time if the parent shouts the child might start hating the parent. If there is a situation where shouting is the only way, then a few minutes later the parent has to sit calmly with the child and explain the reason for getting angry.  There is a belief that getting angry with the child is wrong. Which means as a parent you are hiding an emotion, which naturally comes to you. This might worsen situations later for the parent and the child as years go by.

I would like to narrate an incident to you. My son who is 7 years old, while coming back in an auto just playfully tore a 50 INR note. Not that he did not know the value of it or that he should not tear it. He just wanted to try and he did it. He was coming back home from a class with my maid and I had given that to her for auto fare. She came back home with this completely torn note and requested me for a new one. My instant reaction was to get angry and I did shout at him. But later that night I explained why it is wrong to disrespect money.  The point here is we give him a lot of freedom and that has allowed him to do this. But if I had controlled my anger there might be another situation where he might exhibit similar actions. Some parents feel the need to stay calm and talk the child out. Well it is surely needed but the instant thoughts in a child’s mind after doing something incorrect would be to notice reactions from others. If the parent does not make sure the child understands it’s a wrong act, the child’s subconscious mind will create a pattern to repeat such behaviour. Well am not saying shouting is correct but getting angry at few situations is ok.

The end goal for a parent is to ensure that the child is grows up into an active, creative and respectful adult. That can happen with awareness and balance.  Become a lifeful parent. One who is able to showcase to the child the real world.

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