Buddy Parenting

As the name suggests, buddy parenting is when you make your child your friend. That seems like a nice idea, no?

But the question is till where a parent should be a buddy to his/her kids. Why? I will come to that part later in the post.

Being interactive with your kid rather than being instructive is a wonderful idea. That is how I have grown up. And trust me, I believe that a kid should fear his/her parents out of respect rather than out of a plain dictatorship. When I say fear, I mean I would not do something which I am tempted to because that will make my parents sad and not because I will be scolded for that. For example, if I have been given a curfew time of 10 at night at my place and I am late because I am at a friend’s party, my parents won’t scold me for that because they know that is something I like doing. But I know that will make my parents anxious because they care for me and thus I should be back home to avoid their worry.

That feeling comes in a child only if the parents have been more like a friend to him/her. I have had a glorious childhood with my parents being very friendly to me. They played with me my favourite games and made me play theirs too. They lived their childhood again with me. My mom would play badminton with me and my dad would play the various board games with me. Not just that, they talked about almost everything after I returned back from school.

Daddy’s princes not just in photos but in every way that I have been brought up! 🙂

And these habits don’t die. I still end my day with a long dinner table conversation with my parents. But my interaction with them has certain limitations. I really can not talk about a few things like sex or alcohol. But yes, trust me, that makes no difference in my life now. I am way past that age when it was the “right time” to do that and I learned everything with time and turned out to be just fine!

As I grew up, that doesn’t mean that the parenting part stops for my parents or I stop being their kid. Growing up takes everything to a different level. While they have turned as my life’s manual for almost all the situations in life now, I try to be the one teaching them the ultra cool stuff that they never did before. Reverse buddy parenting, eh?

Reverse buddy parenting – teaching mommy the art of taking selfies and staying socially connected to the world! Oh, she loves Facebook! 😀

Buddy parenting, however, broadly should come with certain limitations. Talking about school, friends, girlfriends/boyfriends, sex, alcohol and everything is good. And that is where it should end. For a typical Indian family, trust me, even that is a lot.

But why such limitations? It is because you can not be a “friend” friend to your child because you have to remember that your child idolizes you. And as they say, there is a right time for everything. Eventually, you can do everything with them. But hey, discussing your financial problems with your teenage kid is not a good idea. That makes them anxious and they might even try to help you in a way that is probably not right. Similarly, discussing the sad part about your relationship with your spouse is also not something that is ever appreciated. Your other half is the other parent to your kid, remember? Therefore, buddy parenting comes with its set of limitations and yes, you should endure and embrace that!

Be a cool parent, shower all the love and compassion that you have, build a wonderful bond and sustain it forever. As a kid, try to be a li’l bit respectful to them. Know that there is a generation gap and your parents must be trying hard to cover it up. Things like that take time.

  1. Nice post Sushmita :). As you mentioned though its important for parents to be buddies with their kids, there should be a balance wherein they don't discuss financial problems etc. Moreover, I guess its also important to ensure that the buddy part doesn't overshadow the fact that the parent is a parent after all rather than just a friend.

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