A lot of people will say that you are either your child’s friend or their parent. You can’t be both.
I think part of being a parent is actually being both.
I’m not a parent myself. This is coming from a young adult who has an amazing relationship with her parents. It may sound strange, but I can basically talk to them about anything. I pretty much do. Honestly, there is nothing wrong with that. It doesn’t make you a little mommy’s girl or whatever kids will say. It just means you share an incredible bond and that is special.
Growing up, I was not terrified of my mom and dad, but I also knew not to cross them. When you are under their roof, you do as you’re told. The rules are in place for a reason. They are reasonable.
Part of the reason why I listened was because they explained things to me. I think it’s good to keep an open dialogue with your kids. Don’t just bark no, no, no. Sometimes, explaining why will make the lesson stick more than punishment.
One of the most important things to remember as a parent is that you have been in your child’s position before. Don’t forget your past experiences and mistakes. Give your past experiences and mistakes to your children so they don’t repeat it. The worse thing you can do is ostracize your child by making them feel misunderstood and alone. Let them talk to you. By sharing similar experiences, you are helping your child and strengthening the bond between you.
So, just remember kids are stupid sometimes. It’s part of growing up. When they make mistakes, obviously they need to be called on it. Find teachable opportunities where you can relate to them. Lay down punishment when necessary. The goal is to shape great people. Part of your job as a parent is to not let your children grow up ignorant, oblivious and un-empathetic. It’s bad for the world.
Laying down the law does not have to result in screaming and grounding each time. Have a conversation with your children. However, every kid is different. Some kids don’t listen until they receive punishment. It’s about adapting your parenting style for each child because the last thing you want to do is push your kids away. There is a way to be respected and liked. It’s important as a parent to have a lasting relationship with your kid. This involves having open dialogue so they feel they can talk to you at any time.
There is no parenting book or blog that will apply to every single child. But, if there is one universal point that parents need to grasp, it’s that it is so important for your kids to be able to talk to you.
They need to feel comfortable enough to do so. They need to know you won’t freak out every time or have no time for them.
Do your best to be the best Mom or Dad possible.
This means trying to be a parent and a friend at the same time.