Parent to Friend

Balance, that is the main goal here.  Some of us grew up in the generation of the authoritarian or permissive parents.  I believe the best type of parenting is authoritative.  We need to teach our children to respect us and to know we are in charge, always.  Teaching starts very young; by 6 months old you should start telling them no, while still showing them security and love.  Always stay strong when disciplining, even with those sweet eyes looking at you.  Sometime we lose our cool and threaten to throw things in the garbage or other extreme measures;  we can change it by saying “I was frustrated and I am changing the punishment to _____”.  Typically the toys and things our kids have, we bought with our money, so take things away, don’t waste your money.  

So how do we go from parent to friend? What is the right age to do this?  Now is when you start.  When our kids are little, we play with them; this teaches friendship.  When they get older we talk to them about issues in their lives and help and teach them how to deal with conflict. Stop here! {By the time they are in junior high, they want to share with you and don’t always want to you “fix” or advise them on what to do.  They want you to listen and know you are there for them if they want help}.  You still need to ask questions and ask if they want your advice on certain situations.  If it is something big,  please step in and help your child!  We always need to be an active part of our kids lives no matter their age.  By the time our kids are going into high school the groundwork should be laid to start moving from parent to friend.  What I mean by this is your child should have the tools to make their own decisions and know their basic beliefs.  This is not a time to go hands off, you need to be an active part of their life.  You don’t go hands off till they are out of your house; we know there is always room for growth and maturity.  Continue to ask them about their day, their friends, how they are handling and feel about everything.  {This should start when they start school}.  Continue to guide them on religion, drugs, sex, life choices.  It is important at all ages for our children to know actions produce consequences.  So back to friendship; our children need to show respect for our authority and as they mature a natural friendship can occur.  We have to let them make mistakes and suffer the consequences, whether it is from us, a teacher, or another adult in their life.  Better to start disciplining when they are little, than to have the cops do it when they are teenagers.  By setting the foundation while they are young; you will be able to have a lifelong friendship with mutual respect.

*Trust is earned. Love is given.* 

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