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Be your child’s best buddy.

Sharon wanted to tell his parents that he knew they kept a camera in his room. But, he didn’t know how could he tell this. So, he followed the instructions of his best buddy in his class.

He took a small, clear bag and filled it with a certain white substance. He hid that bag under his bed, in a corner. In the morning before leaving for school, and in the afternoon when he got home, he took out the bag of white substance, and cut a line. Took a piece of paper, rolled it up, and pretended to snort the substance.

He made sure that he did it all in the camera’s sightline.

The next day, his parents saw him doing this on camera and thought he was snorting cocaine. Was that a moment of satisfaction for them for having found what they were seeking for? They rushed to Sharon’s room, found his bag of “cocaine”, and pulled it out. But, their thrilling moments didn’t last long. They couldn’t find cocaine. But what they found instead was a bag of flour or sugar, and a note from him that read,

“I know you put a camera in my room.”

Spy work doesn’t match with the parents’ profile. This is not a war field to find reasons for attacks and justifications for your incapability. Openness is the solution to all these mistrusts. It is possible only if you are friendly with your children. The ultimate question is what you are looking for. To have all these thrills of chasing and finding? To repeat everything that your parents did with you which even you didn’t like? If so, will it match with the new kind of world? Or, do you really want to see your children growing in the right path?

If your agenda is the last one, the only option is to be your children’s friend. Find happiness in being with them, share your thoughts and ideas with them, ask about their likes and dislikes.

Your inner self might point to the costs of treating children as confidants foreseeing their stress by your personal confessions which they can’t digest. Or you might doubt your ability to enforce your rules and standards once they are your friends.

Here comes the question – What do you mean by friendship with your children?

In friendship, both the persons are independent. Neither of them enforces anything on the other.

Won’t this be leading to the absence of authority and later to total anarchy in the family?

Yes, if your friendship is unbounded. To make friendship productive, both parties should be aware of their capacities and limitations. Along with showing affection, parents should enforce age-appropriate limits on their children’s behavior.

Researchers suggest that this kind of friendship develops self-control in children.

Parents need to develop trust in their children by not disclosing his/her secrets to others. The child should feel safe to speak to them openly so that he/she won’t be discussing his/her concerns to others which could even lead to gullible exploitations. It is impossible to respond positively to all the demands of children.

Remember, this is true not only in parent-children friendship but in every friendship on the earth. On the other side, some parents say “no” first for all their demands and search for justifications. Be patient enough to listen fully, have a thought on the matter, and respond wisely. Do it for them if it is convincible to your conscience. If not, explain the reasons for not agreeing with it.

Responsible parents treat their children as individuals with minds of their own. They discuss with their children their thoughts, hopes, ideas and their feelings. They discuss their bits of life – darks and colorful ones (not strictly the bits likely to distress the kids) so that they can see their parents as human beings with feelings that are similar to them.

Do it if you don’t want your son/daughter to be betrayed by frenemies. We don’t want them to be in trouble by following the mischievous pied pipers in society. This can prevent them from dangerous adolescent behaviors which are common in our society. Let us be friendly, rational, and responsive to them.

Parents can build close, personal relationships with their kids and still remain responsible adults. Not every friendship is based on sharing equal status.

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