Your kids do not want you to be the strict disciplinarian all the time. It’s not necessary to be a harsh parent in order to teach your kids to differentiate between right and wrong. The only thing you need to do is become their friend.
It might sound odd that you should become friends with your children. Aren’t both of you supposed to have your own groups of friends? Yup, that’s probably healthy, but a friendly relationship with your kids is not the worst thing in the world. The benefits of being all buddy-buddy with your babies are that you open the gateway to communicate with them which can nurture your relationship. If your kids think you’re just as easy to talk to as their friends, the result will be an open, honest relationship and eventually, a happy home. Wondering how to be friends with your kids? Read on.
How To Be Friends With Your Kids?
#1. Don’t Over-Regulate
When you lay down too many rules for your children, they will in time start feeling like they’re living in a dictatorial society –even though they might not use those exact words. They will feel stifled and bogged down by rules that are not to be broken. If you have too many regulations at home, you may also have punishments that go along with the breaking of said rules. If this is the case, you are simply instilling fear in your child. Never will this help your child open up to you or speak freely at home. You don’t want to push your child into a shell that is tough to break. So, instead of regulating, tell your kids why doing certain things might not be the best idea. When they understand why there is a rule against something, it’ll change from rule to common sense. Further, do not let your kid ever see you breaking one of your rules as that will just confuse them.
Click Here To Read More: How To Be A Good Parent?
#2. Encourage Their Dreams
Even when your kids are young, encourage all their dreams, even the far-fetched ones. Your child wants to be an astronaut, get them space-related books to read and toys to play with. Once they are a bit older, show them the path which they will need to follow to achieve their dream. Whether they follow it or not is completely up to them, but they will always cherish the fact that their parents were always behind them. Ensure that your kids know you support all their dreams and eventually they will share all their dreams with you. This way, you will always know what goes on inside their heads and where they might be heading in life. Knowing these things about your children will give you incredible peace of mind. Plus, you will also be able to tell them to hold back if they are starting to head down the wrong path before it is too late.
#3. Understand Their Feelings
When your child expresses anger or sadness, for any reason, do not belittle his or her feelings at any cost. Even if the reason seems minuscule to you, it may not be so insignificant to them. Instead of ignoring or mocking them, try to help them out and make them see that they understand. The best way to do this is by putting yourself in their shoes and imagining what it was like to be a child. Think about yourself and the problems you had when you were their age. This will not only help you understand but also solve your child’s problem and gain their trust. Your child will not like to discuss their feelings with you if you do nothing to alleviate negative ones. Sit down and talk in a calm and friendly manner for your child needs to talk to you much more than you can think. If you become their go-to person when they are young, you will remain in that position all your life. There are a lot of things your kids can ask so you need to be familiar with what all they can ask so that it doesn’t come as a shock to you and you better understand their feelings.
#4. Go Out With Them
The best way to become friends with your kids is to go out and have fun together. Make sure you spend quality time with your kids doing things you both enjoy. Activities like picnics, beach trips, water park trips or even a dinner at their favorite place will make them see you in a new light. When your kids are older, don't hesitate from sharing a drink or two with them too. Sitting down with drinks and talking for hours on end is not just something peers can do. If such an experience is shared with parents, it leads to trust, honesty and most importantly, a whole lot of fun. A parent-child relationship is most fulfilling when it is equal parts responsible and fun.
#5. Never Raise Your Voice
Your child will draw so much negativity from you if you raise your voice at them. They will just be fearful of you and hesitate to talk to you. Yes, a firm tone is sometimes reasonable and required but shouting is never called for. If you shout or talk down to your children, you make them feel that you both are not on the same level and hence cannot be close to friends at all. But, children do drive you crazy sometimes, and you might end up with a strong urge to scream. In such a case, go to another room, calm down, and then talk to your child in a reasonable manner. You're teaching your child patience and telling them that mom and dad aren't above them but right beside them every step of the way.
#6. Treat Them As Individuals
It is quite common for parents to start treating their kids as an extension of themselves. To force your dreams and desires upon kids is a mistake most parents make. It’s not your child’s job to make you feel proud by securing good marks all the time and choosing the career path you think is the best. By forcing these things on your child, you are just pushing him or her away from you and into pits like lack of self-worth, confusion, and depression. Treat your children like individuals who are growing and choosing their own paths. They are developing their own personality, whether you like it or not. All you can do is encourage them to be good and kind people. But, if for one second you feel like you want your child to be just like you, you are all set to put too much pressure on him. These kids will never be close to their parents and instead will keep looking for ways to get away from them.
Also, Read: How To Handle A Stubborn Kid?
#7. Do Not Overdo It
There’s a thin line between being your child’s friend and scarring him for life. Even if your relationship has become as frank as relationships can be, never complain about your spouse or even fight with them in front of the kids. If you continuously have fights where you put your spouse down, belittle their existence and threaten divorce, your kids will become fearful and insecure. This will lead to children who will have trouble forging strong and trusting relationships with their partners in future. When you are in a friendly relationship with your kids, show them the fun side of your bond with your partner. Never expose them to mistrust, bitterness, anger, or any of these negative emotions that sometimes pop up in marriages. Show them how marriage can lead to the most fruitful and loving bond. This way you are setting your child up for a wonderful future for you and the family to be. You are shaping the minds of your kids and what you expose them to in their early life will have a big impact later. Be friends with them and you will always be a satisfied parent and partner as well.
Do you feel this article can help you to be friends with your kids? We would love to know your thoughts and comments, so please share them with us in the comment box below.