Saturday, October 20, 2012

Am I your friend?....Yes, I am!

Facebook is a great tool. Some posts are extremely informative, some exceptionally witty while some really turns your stomach each time you read. Few days back, I was totally disturbed and upset by a post and wanted to voice out my opinion. I guess, finally I am motivated enough. The post says:

'I will stalk you, flip out on you, lecture you, drive you insane, be your worst nightmare & hunt you down like a bloodhound when needed because I LOVE YOU! When you understand that, I will know you are a responsible adult. You will NEVER find someone who loves, wishes, cares, & worries about you more than I do! If you don't hate me once or twice in your life, I am not doing my job properly. I am your parent and not your friend. Share if you are a parent and agree.'

Whoa! I was plainly shocked and utterly disappointed to read it. Stalk? Flip? Drive insane? Really? Is that actually you would do to your children? How can stalking, pestering, driving insane and hunting down like a bloodhound be remotely connected to love?

However hard I would like to believe that whoever has written the above is a responsible parent himself/herself, I would still express the same in my own version:

'I am your friend. I am your mother.  I will advise you, correct you, listen to you, respect you, support you and give you my wings just when you are ready to fly. I love you and no one will ever love you, care for you and wish for you as much as I do. No matter what, I will stand with you whenever you fear of falling and that’s my promise to you.'

The days of traditional parenting are long bygones. My kids are 5 and yet I feel a certain sense of individuality and authority in them, leave aside today’s teenagers and youngsters. I question my own childhood when my kids are all over me whenever they are around me. I hardly remember doing that with my own mother. I feel deprived when my kids take decisions about their own menu whenever we dine out. I don't remember ever being asked about our choices whenever we were treated out during my childhood. Having said this, its a no surprise that, whenever required, I use my authority and power to show them the right path. I advise them on their inappropriate choices and I do argue with them on occasions that demand.

I feel that we should not just be their friends but best friends. They need to have that connection, that confidence that comes out of a relationship in which you can truly be YOU. That person you can talk to without the fear of being judgemental. With whom you can share your dreams and desires. With whom you can share your good as well as the bad. I feel that children really need to have that connection with us; I prefer to call it friendship.

While we may want to believe that our children will never have that shortage of friendship in their lives; that may not be the case. As parents and especially mothers, we are in a position to be constant in their lives.  We can be their committed friend who will stand by them even when they are no longer “cool”; or because they don’t score as good as the boy next door, or because they don’t carry the latest smartphone or even because they have no interests in sports.

Rest assured, being friends with our kids do not get them into trouble. What gets them into trouble is our failure as parents. They face issues because they start looking out for something they lack; something that they feel will complete them. They actually start looking for that connection, which we hesitate to provide.

“Be their parent, not their friend.”

The two are not too different. I have chosen to be my child’s parent. It’s my principal duty to love them, care for them, stand by them, protect them, advise and guide them. Of course, these things come first, as a parent. I wouldn't be a good parent if I don’t spend quality time with my kids. I wouldn't make justice to parenting if I don’t fetch water for my son when he comes home tired even if he is just 5.

I am a mother, a parent and I can never claim that I am an expert at it. I make my own mistakes. Mistakes that can sometimes hurt my children. But there is that piece of equation when my kids still walk to me for a hug in spite of my nasty mood.

“Be their parent, not their friend.”

There will be hardly anyone who has never had best friends. Or perhaps their definition of friendship is different than mine. For me, friendship is a bond that you share with that special someone. A friend is someone who will always be there for you. One who will not be judgemental when you share your darkest secrets. Someone you want to have fun with, laugh to your heart’s content and cry out till you feel relieved. Someone who will accept you the way you are - with your faults and weaknesses. Someone with whom you can just be YOU. Someone who will catch that fine line between understanding you and calling you out at your nonsense.

A friend is the one you can totally trust with your genuine feelings and someone you can go to seek advice. And the one who, at times, will recognize and appreciate that advice is the last thing you need when all you need is just an ear. Someone who has seen you at your best and worst, both. Someone who understands and recognizes that you wouldn't be a human really if you didn't have those mad bad days.

And above all, when you go through really bad time and when you have a sharp feeling that the entire world is conspiring against you, a true friend will stand by you with an assurance…

‘Don’t you dare worry, I am with you and I will always be there for you, whenever you need me....’

Yes, I want to be my kids' friend or rather best friend and I am working on everything that it takes to be one. No matter how sophisticated our relationship turns out to be, shouldn't it at least begin as a friendship?


  1. Nicely said. Wonderful post.

    1. Thanks a lot, A! I am glad you enjoyed reading it!