Parenting is not an easy task and learning to balance between parenting and befriending a child is never easy. However, for those parents who can balance it, the quality of the relationship can carry the bond of parent and child through the rough times as they mature.
Being a friend to your child involves a strategy that draws the child in as a friend and companion but also ensures that they understand and respect your role as a parent. One of the big mistakes parents often make is raising a child with the “Just because I said so!” syndrome. A parent that masters the friendship-parental role will rarely use this famous line that is often used as a way to assert their role as the parent in charge.
The problem with this flawed statement is that it makes the child seem ignorant, insignificant, foolish and incapable of learning why something needs to be done a certain way. This tactic will eventually backfire as children learn there are other ways to do things that their parents don’t agree with. This is especially true when alternative solutions seem to work out just fine. In the long run, this can make the parent seem ignorant, insignificant, foolish and incapable of learning new ways of doing things.
Children are reasoning little people and should be considered as adults in the making. They count on their parents to teach them the way to grow into the best adult they can become. Parents can make the mistake of thinking the child is supposed to be a carbon copy of themselves or a subservient human who is to become what their parents decide they should be. This usually makes a child rebellious and resentful as their own personalities emerge as they mature.
One of the best practices for a parent is to explain in simple details why a child would best be served by heeding their advice and then set the boundaries to ensure they follow through. This makes the parent seem reasonable, concerned and endearing to the child and helps them begin to build the bridge of a parent-child relationship into parent-child-friend relationship.
Other important ways to master this type of relationship is to spend quality fun time with your child, care about their life and what they aspire to do. Parents should be willing to study, learn, and try to understand what is healthiest for their child on all levels. This includes working at their; mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health. Children need healthy boundaries in life, but they also need loving expressive parents who can help them become their very best.