This is the fear of many parents. If I am not my child’s friend, I will become the enemy. If I am the enemy how can what I say matter to my child?
The responsibilities of a parent are not to be a friend, but to be the guidance your child needs to grow and become the adult you hope they will be. However you should also not become the absolute rule of law, inflexible to the ever changing dynamic between parent and child. Thus the dilemma, how to guide without becoming an enemy.
The balance is tedious, however, sometimes you will need to remove yourself from ruling with an iron fist. As well as being the best friend to you child.
As a parent, you are the most important figure in your child’s life. Your child will base many decisions in their life from your behavior. This is an amazing opportunity for you to make a difference in your child life. Encouragement is a building block for self esteem. It is important for your child to know that they are still loved, especially when they fail. Failure is not something to be afraid of, but to learn from. We all fail, your child needs to understand this. Be supportive and encourage your child to keep working. It is only through failure you learn to succeed.
Talking with your child as they grow up can be a very difficult. They are not completely helpless and they are trying to discovery who they are. This is a journey for them as much as it is for you. The most problematic issue in these circumstances is that as a perant, we have been before. Your child, however, has not. they speak from a point of view that they believe. They believe they understand. The majority of the time believing you understand and experiencing are entirely different.
We try to protect our children from the mistakes we made, but sometimes we have to let them make the same mistakes.
If you take the time, and give them examples from your life, to why something is a bad idea you might be able to persuade your child. You child will rebel against your authority at some point, they are growing into their life. They are trying to figure out who they are, and they are growing to be just like us. They want freedom, but with that freedom, comes great responsibility.
When your child reaches a certain age they begin to question things. Your child will begin to ask things like, “What do you know?” “Your old and don’t understand my life”. As the parent you have to let the anger and the hurt go. You need to remember, that at one time you thought the same thing about your parents.
What your child does not realize at this time is that you do understand what they are going through.
Simply because technology has changed does not mean that human behavior has changed.
Consequences are the most difficult part of being a parent.
You love your child, you want the best for them. However sometimes you have to put your foot down and be the adult that they need. You have to be the guiding light in the dark. They may hate you, they may resent you, they may yell at you, but they will learn. Someday they will appreciate what you did, and will even ask you for your advice.
Lead by Example
The problem with being young, is you can not see where the path leads. You ask your child to believe you and you expect them to have faith in you. This is simple when they are young, but as they grow older they begin to watch you.
The question we need to ask ourselves as parents is how are we leading? Are we hippocrytical?
Do we expect more from them than we do ourselves? Do we show our children that learning is a lifelong journey? Do we show our children how others should be treated? Do we show our children how to treat significant others? We show our children more through our action than we ever can through our words. Actions always mean more than words.
Life is a never ending journey. We learn from the time we are born until the end of our life. We hope to pass on the lessons of our life to the next generation, who will pass it on to the generation that follows. We all get one shot at this and we all make mistakes.