Adolescence, Friendship & Parents

KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR CHILDREN.
AND BOTH YOUR EYES ON THEIR FRIENDS.
Because, friends circle will determine your children’s future.

A famous personality once said “Show me your friends, and I will tell you who you are.” Our friends play an influential role our lives, and who we are is determined by who our friends are. The right friends, especially in the early days of one’s life, will shape one’s character and attitude.

As a parent, one of your biggest responsibilities is to ensure that your children create the right circle of friends around them. Owing to their innocence and their ignorance of worldly knowledge, your children may not be able to discriminate good friends from the bad ones. This could result in your children spending more time in the circle of people who are prone to stimulate negative thoughts and actions. If you ignore this dangerous possibility now, it might be too late by the time you realize what is happening. At an impressionable age, your children could easily become victims of bad influencers.  

First a friend, then a parent.

Try being a good friend to your children before being a parent. This will not only strengthen your bonding with them, but will also help you get into your children’s mind when it comes to their perception of friendship.

It is natural for your children to look upon you first as a parent. And their approach to this parent relationship would be a mix of love, respect and even fear. Therefore, your primary task would be to create a psychological comfort in their minds by convincing them that you are indeed their closest friend first, before you are actually their parent. This assurance will make them be transparent with you, and this will help you keep a close watch on their activities, especially on their circle of friends.

Families with friendly parents are far happier than the ones with dictating parents. So, decide what kind of a parent you want to be.

It’s not just about friends. It’s about families.

As long as your children are with you in your home, you know what they are doing. Once they move away from your vicinity, you have no control over them. So, how do you gain control over their association with their friends? How can you know what kind of friends they have around them?

It is simple. Make earnest efforts to convince your children that their friends are your friends too. Try building a relationship with the families of your children’s friends. Your children should know that there is much more to their friendship than just hanging around with each other, chatting, studying and playing together. Families coming together is more significant than just kids coming together.  

Break mindsets. Encourage freedom.

Your children could have reservations regarding your acceptance of their friends. Hence, create a sense of ease and comfort in the minds of your children when it comes to your attitude towards their friends. Do not ever give an impression that you are critical about their friends.

Welcome your children’s friends with open arms and make them feel at home. Spend sufficient time with them and allow them to relax in your presence. Only then can you understand and gauge them, which will help you decide whether they are good enough and safe enough for your children. If not, you will be kept away from the picture and be completely unaware of the kids with whom your children are friends.

Well, giving freedom as a parent has its own advantages.

As a parent you will want to keep a caring eye on your children. But you just cannot stop with it. Go beyond and keep both your eyes on their friends. After all, it is friends who make or break lives. 

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