I have always been told by my friends that I have a unique relationship with my mother. I can be open with her and tell her about my personal life, she can do the same with me. I always could turn to her for advice without the fear that she would be overly judgmental towards me. My mother has always been a true friend to me. At the same time, I have always held her in the highest regard and respected her as a disciplinary figure. The two of us managed to have a fine tuned balance between her being my mother and my best friend.
I know this may seem odd to some of the old school parents reading this who feel strongly that that a child should have strong boundaries when dealing with their parents and know their role. However, I think that it is best for a parent to of course parent their child as well as be a friend to their child. I say this because in today’s; world a child has even more influences storming their way daily. Some of these outside influences can be stronger than the influence of the parent or the child merely being afraid of their parent. Eventually, fear diminishes after some time. On the contrary if you have a child that is close to their parent; that sees their parent as a confidant and respects them, then the chances that the child will be more inclined to follow the steps of their friends lessens.
I am not implying that the child will never choose to listen to their peers. We all have been there and done that at some point in our life. What a friendship between a parent and child means is that the child will place more emphasis on what their parents says than their peers in more cases than none.
Another great benefit of bond building with your child is it eliminates some of the foolishness that a child will become involved in. I remember when I was younger that my mother never really had to punish me vigorously when I made mistakes to get me to learn from them because it hurt me more to know that she was disappointed in me. In fact her being disappointed or upset with me haunted me so much that it made me consider her responses to some of my bad behavior before I engaged in it. Again, of course I made mistakes and got into trouble occasionally, but I am sure that I would have gotten into much more had I have not had the bond with my Mother as part of my decision making process and moral code.
A parent should be a parent and a disciplinarian at all times. However, there should also be enough of balance where your child should feel close enough to come to you when they are in need, are afraid are confused about life or any other circumstance without feeling that you will be unwilling to listen, be uninterested or go off on a tyrannical rampage if they made a mistake.
Is it possible for a parent to be a friend and a parent to a child?