There was a time when the sight of parents evoked fear, tension, nervousness and so on and so forth in children’s minds. But with the changing times, parents have also undergone a sea change. They have started acting more as buddies with their children empathizing with their problems, issues and difficulties rather than just acting as an overbearing and towering presence who do nothing more than scaring them. But does this so called buddy parenting work?
Most of us have always been averse to sharing the secrets of our relationships, bad habits, parties etc. with our parents. We are scared of them reprimanding us and putting up all sorts of restrictions to not let us do whatever we want. But isn’t that because we perceive parents as those humans who are always angry and looking to scare us? What if they behave like our best friends who listen to us and then advise us accordingly without jumping to any conclusions? What if they don’t judge us based on simple incidents in life? Wouldn’t it be a really delightful feeling?
My parents have always been buddies in the sense that they have always encouraged me to share my personal secrets be it my relationships, friends and every other problem or question I have had. Encouragement is not only about words but instead, it’s about deeds as well. If I have done anything wrong, rather than being quick in looking down upon me, they have always drilled it into me that one should always learn from his or her mistakes. We learn something from everyone we meet at every step in life. It’s all about putting that learning to use and becoming a good human being.
Moreover, it’s also important for parents to openly talk about all the things which youngsters run behind – Love, smoking, drinking, sex education and so on. My parents have always been open about all these things and more. Their belief has always been that children need to learn about all these things first at home rather than from friends who may only exaggerate.
But then it’s always important that parents draw a line on what can be discussed and the way they behave in front of their children. As I started to move into my teens, my parents started discussing topics with me which normal teenagers are generally exposed to. Even then, they didn’t really go into topics which were much beyond my age and they knew I wouldn’t understand at that time.
Moreover, though they did act as buddies and empathize with my feelings and thoughts, they always ensured that I grew up with good habits, values and respect for elders thus ensuring that I had it in me to become a good human being. It’s always a thin line between being friends and letting children know who is in charge. And this is the thin line, they have been able to tread quite effortlessly.
Buddy parenting does work in the sense that it ensures children are able to openly discuss their problems and issues with their parents without the fear of being judged. But for it work effectively, both the parents and the children need to be receptive to each other.
Linking to NaBloPoMo (National Blog Post Month – July – My post no 16 for this month.