Some parents I have met want their kids to be their best friend! But if your kids are your best friend, can you be a parent? We tell our best friends, our fears and joys at work, our struggles with finances, our ups and downs with our spouses, and even our love/hate relationship with the in-laws. Can we do the same thing with our children? Can you parent your Best friend?
I believe that there is a time and season for everything in life. When our children are just babies, Parents enter a stage of life where they are care givers. Parents demonstrate their love by holding, talking, feeding and singing to the child. That care is also demonstrated by changing baby’s diapers and bathing our little loved ones.
However, as babies grow older and become more communicative, the roles of parents expand. Parents need to set limits for their children, and it is through these limits, that they learn what is safe and unsafe, and what’s appropriate. Parents are there to protect, guide and teach.
In that way, as children embark on that journey of self-discovery and learning, we parents have many different roles to play. A parent is someone that a child feels comfortable to share anything with, while at the same time, the parent is the one who sets the rules and boundaries.
Friends on the other hand are people who work on the same level and footing as you! You expect your friends to advise you, and to understand the things that you go through. Sharing with your child and letting him voice his opinions does not make him a decision maker. Children can speak up in a family, but ultimately Parents make the decisions.
There will come a time, when my kids will become adults, get married and have children. As they form their own family unit, when they come back for advice, we are a step closer to becoming friends.
Can you have a best friend who has less in life experience as you? Can a best friend-ship be one sided such that one party does more giving compared to the other? What is a best friend?