Like fashion, parenting has had its own share of trends. After the advent of TV and Internet, Indian parents have been a confused lot. No wonder, since they were taught to obey and worship their parents without any questioning but now they were being told that they could be buddies with their children! How can Amma and Appa become best friends to their children?
Initially we knew just a few basic parenting styles - the loving mom, the strict disciplinarian dad, or vice versa. Now, all of sudden we are being exposed to different parenting styles, including the Buddy Parenting which is being best friend to your child.
Believe it or not, being your child’s best friend is catching fancy among Indian parents, especially moms, and just to be among the trending group many moms are adopting the style and showing it off as well. What is dangerous among the trend is not knowing the thin line that divides the two different arenas of being friendly with our child and treating our child as our best friend.
Why can’t our children be our best friends we may ask? It is the difference in age that we have to keep in mind. Don’t we often use our best friends as our confidante? Don’t we talk about out marital, career, financial problems with them? What will happen if you use children as our confidante? How can a ten year old understand the problems faced by a 40 year old person? It can create confusion and stress in the young mind.
In the same way, let our children have someone in their own age-group as their best friend. They will have common problems and will understand each other much better.
Don’t give up completely on the idea of being a friend to your child because by being a friendly parent, you are closer and approachable to your child. But we need to draw a line and strictly adhere to it. Parenting is not just about the emotions and love. We have our functional part of being guides, providing for our children and making them independent.
Even with a baby, a mother has to show her emotional support by hugging, kissing, loving and singing lullaby which is essential, but she has to carry out her practical function of feeding, bathing and providing adequate sleep to the baby as well. It is clear that while functional parenting is more essential for survival of baby, not fulfilling their emotional need will have permanent negative effect on growth of a child even if it is not life threatening.
To be their best friends we have to be popular with our children and we parents know that every time we say ‘no’, our popularity falls. So we may hesitate to instill discipline in hope to holding on to the popularity with our children, which can be unhealthy as well.
Our part as a mom is more crucial than the role of being a best friend. Let us me friendly with our children, but let us be the best Moms not the best friends. I don’t feel there is anything wrong in being friends with our children, if we don’t forget that we are moms and we have our duties.
Picture Via Shutterstock
Picture Via Shutterstock