This Didn’t Work For Most Of Us

Some say to successfully rear your child, you shouldn’t be their friend because they will only end up disrespecting you when you discipline them or when you lay down certain rules to benefit them. They say that you have to bring your child almost to the point of fearing you in order for them to take you seriously and respect your rules. It is also said that being a strict and hard parent is the only successful parenting technique. Imagine that, if you can, in this day in time.

Well, that may have worked in ancient times, but not now, nor did it work when we were living in our parent’s home. Some children find it hard to make friends outside of the home. They are still attempting to build friendships with their siblings, unless they are an only child, which is sometimes even tougher for them to learn the art of making friends. Sometimes in large families, it is unnecessary for a child to venture out right away for friends because their brothers, sisters and cousins are all they need. Even then, before school, there is the child who makes friends no matter where they go or who they’re with.

During our adolescence we learn how to interact with people from all walks of life, if we’re lucky. Our parents are our first experience of what friendship must be like. If they treat us with kindness and just light up when we greet one another, this is what we learn to look for in a childhood friend to gauge if we will get along or not with them. If our parent treats us badly or doesn’t interact with us at all, we won’t know how to make friends away from home, and or feel that we aren’t a likable person and that no one likes us or even wants to be our friend. This isn’t necessarily so, however the child doesn’t know this. They don’t know that mom or dad has something else on their mind or they just don’t know how to talk to children. It is a new and sometimes intrusive experience in becoming a friend to a small child, but we must understand that this is how they will learn to differentiate good people from bad people; because the parent helps them to know the difference.

Open Communication Works

As we open up to our children, they will learn how to communicate with the parent, no matter what age the child is, and they learn to strengthen their bond with us. However the younger they are, the process gets easier and then they are of the age that they need to know things that they should feel free discussing with the parent before they venture out to find things out from their friends who may have learned it from someone other than a reputable person. They have developed a certain rapport with their parents and usually find it easier to discuss most things with them, that their friends would feel embarrass to discuss with an adult, let alone their parent.

Then there is the child who is the only child of the family. Maybe the parent is an only child as well, so cousins are out of the question for them to interact with and learn from. There could only just be the child and one parent in their family unit. Now, who needs a friend more than an only child? Adults have learned that true and honest friends are worth their weight in gold; and the parent would be even more of a confidant or trustworthy friend to a potential loner than most people that they would learn to trust and learn from.

Remember, times have and are constantly changing so we can’t leave anything to chance when it comes to potentially leaving our loved ones naked for any and everyone to mold besides us. What once wasn’t discussed or shared amongst parent and child, are now a commonplace thing because of a mutual trust. You see, the parent and child relationship of old isn’t the same as today. We know how important it is to rear our sons and daughters so they know that they always have someone to come to when they need to mull something over. We will not always be there, because time goes on and we go on as well. We have to trust that the choices they make will be good ones, because we shared with them what we knew. Choices are all we have, and we try to help them, as a friend, make the best that they can. They will learn that they have to live with those choices, so they should try their best to make good ones.

It is a learned and shared process, so don’t be afraid that if you are your child’s friend that they won’t listen to your or respect your words. Unless something really untoward happened to that child, and they had no one to go to with it; they will always come to mom or dad first. And please believe that you are not ruining the child if you spare the rod, as the old folks use to say. Again, it’s a learned process and who knows, you are probably better at opening up to your children than most, which is why you don’t need the rod.

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Wednesday, Feb 1, 2023