Parents are your Best Friends- Myth or Reality?

Family Family
12-14 12-14
Kajori Biswas
a month ago
parents as friends

A  lot of people say that after a certain age a child’s best friends are their parents, but is it really true? Actually, all of it depends on both the parents as well as the kids. It is a reciprocal relationship. The ways in which parents tackle and behave with their children and also how a child reciprocates to it.

Children are attracted to those in whom they find comfort, fun, relatability, support be it emotional, social, or general and other things like these. Similarly, friendship also involves these things.While parenting can be difficult, just 2% of children have parents who report that they are struggling to meet the demands of parenting. When it comes to exchanging ideas and talking about important issues, most parents of teenagers (ages 14-17) believe they do it somewhat or very well; only 6% believe they cannot communicate well. 

 Initially, it’s on the part of the parents to make their child feel like they can come to them for discussing any and everything, be it a random thought, serious issue, an argument, or something they feel bothered about. Once they are assured that parents will understand them than criticizing them, they would want to come and share.

What can parents do to make their children consider them as their go-to person? 

  • Appreciation- appreciate the little efforts and achievements made by them and encourage them to do better.
  • Respect- respecting and considering their views, choices, and opinions as something that is much required.
  • Trust- building trust in your child is one of the most important things a parent can do. You have and still are instilling values in them, so give them opportunities to prove you right.
  • Being approachable- if they find you easy to approach, they will surely come up to you for discussions.
  • Giving space- as the child enters adolescence, they tend to expect some space in their day to day life. 
  • Freedom- giving freedom to the child to take decisions independently will help them build an opinion of their own.

Providing kids with all the above is necessary but a little strictness is also required. Complete freedom and no discipline can go wrong because the latter is important to a great extent. Keeping certain limits will help children know their boundaries and act accordingly. Interact while playing with them, set aside days where it is just about you and your kid, explore places together and have some fun, avoid pressurizing them, and instead make them understand the necessity politely and love them unconditionally, which goes without saying!

Things to avoid with your children:

  • Being overprotective- overprotection will make your child dependent.
  • Do not poke- poking nose often and at every step of your child will make them irritated.
  • Being violent- violence isn’t always the solution to make your children listen to you. Slapping and yelling don’t always work and if continued, they will become used to and it won’t make a difference to them anymore.
  • Restrictions- imposing too many restrictions will bound them at a later stage to break out of it.
  • Dominating- being dominant effects a child’s self-worth.
  • Blame game- making them feel responsible or blaming them for your actions isn’t the right thing. They should instead learn how to be in control of one-self before doing something.

Parenting is an art. You cannot only be one- friend or parent. It has to be a changing process based on the requirement. When they need the support of a friend, be one, and when they require guidance, a guide like a parent. It is also a mutual give and takes relationship. Hence, parents also need to slowly be open about certain discussions and share about their childhood days, problems they faced, how did they handle them, their achievements, etc. relating with the child’s age so that in response, kids also might happen to share similar situations and understand your perspective in a better way.Seventy percent of children (under the age of 18) live with two parents, 23% with just their mother, 3% with just their father, and nearly 4% with no parent. 2% of children live with their grandparents while neither parent is present, and 1% live with other relatives when neither parent is present. (Note that "parents" include nonbiological parents and stepparents as well as biological parents and may be married or unmarried.) Visit the Census Bureau's Living Arrangements of Children: 2019 for more information.

In general, family relationships and stability are more important to a child's growth than family structure. In many ways, the quality of parents' relationships with one another influences their offspring. According to a Child Trends study, whether parents are married or cohabiting, parental relationship quality (how happy parents are in the relationship) is related to children's behaviour problems, social competence, school involvement, and depression. 

Kids and parents have different perspectives of life, things, and events around them and it is obvious due to the age gap and the difference of environment one has been brought up in. But even parents were once kids who have also gone through the same stages of life so they are expected by their child to understand them.

So parents, know that you have got it all in yourself just try to bring about change in your notion of accepting and understanding the new generations in all-new ways. Put yourself in their shoes and rethink about what once you had expected from your parents. The child needs to find a friend in you. So, let loose the ropes of your children and give them the freedom to fly, keeping in mind the values you have taught along with an assurance to catch them if they ever fall.

Stay Tuned, Stay Relevant!

This article has been reviewed by our panel. The points, views and suggestions put forth in this article have been expressed keeping the best interests of fellow parents in mind. We hope you found the article beneficial.