Should you be a parent or a friend to your children?
Should you jump that Lakshman Rekha of parenthood and jump into the arena of mutual give and take?
Should you be strict with your child in order to see that he/she grows up to be organized and disciplined?
When children come into our lives, they are like the gifts we always wanted but never ever got. Our little babies become little toys and in that one instant we are transformed into young kids having a precious toy to play with. Only this time, the toy is alive and kicking! Playing with toys in our childhood is one thing, taking care of them without hurting them is another ball game altogether.
Many parents today are busy persons, working at jobs (outside home and some, within the house). Monitoring the day-to-day, hourly activities of children can become a tremendous task for parents – sometimes an impossible work to do too. So, the best bet for parents now-a-days is either to become very strict to see that things are done properly. Or, become buddies to their children hoping that their kids will trust them more, overlooking the lack of quality time and in the process share their feelings with them. But, does this really happen?
In some cases, it does happen depending upon the nature of the children or the equation between parent and child. But, many a time, we find that as parents we are not always able to bring in that balance between both the extremes – of strict disciplining or buddy behaviour. We find that we are at a loss to fathom the right manner in which to behave with our children. Some of us might say that parenthood is all about trial and error. And rightly so. But, what if the errors become costly mistakes? What if our strict behavior becomes traumatic to our children? Or, our overt friendliness becomes a license to go scot-free and falter miserably.
Both suffer then – Parent and child. Parent more so because there is the guilt that as adults we could have done better; maybe made more mature choices. Maybe, been less strict. Maybe, shed the mask of a high-handed parent and come down to the level of the child. Maybe, not over-looked the mistakes of our children in the name of being friends. Maybe, not confused our children about how a parent should actually behave and act.
There is this vulnerable age when children consider their parents the only right people in the whole wide world. This is followed by a phase when they discover that their parents have clay feet. Then, begins the questioning, the query-evading, the rebelling and what not. We must not forget that we too went through it all. It is another fact that the times were different then and we were not always permitted to win over our parents unlike now. But then again there can be no generalizing. What is right for my child and me can be difficult for you and your child. The home environment, the values, the upbringing, and the time available – all make a difference in our relationships with our children.
I suppose every parent has to discover his/her own way out with his/her child. No amount of calculations can give the exact way in which to deal with our children. I for one have been strict parent and friendly parent to my child in phases. How successful I have been in these ventures – well! That is something I need to ponder about.
But, I would really love to know what you feel about this. What is your opinion? Success Ratio? Strict or Friendly?
Shail Raghuvanshi is a freelance journalist, content writer, editor, book reviewer and poet. She has 15 years of writing experience in newspaper, magazine, radio and television. She has worked as a Spoken English Teacher too. She runs a blog for writers called Write Space and blogs at her personal blog Muse N’ Motivation. A daughter, wife, mother and friend, she believes that there is no situation that can’t be made better. Faith, Friendship and Family are what makes her life complete.