It is common knowledge that there is always a gap between generations. Teenagers do not like to be told to do or not to do certain things. There are parents who just won’t accept that their kids are now grown up and are in a position to take their own small decisions.
For a parent, kids are always kids, however old they may be. They refuse to accept that the kids may know more about certain things than parents themselves. What is the reason for parents not to realize that kids need to be treated on an equal level?
The problem is universal. Parents do not let go and they subconsciously suppress kids’ freedom to express. Instead of imposing their will on the kids, parents must give the kids’ expression a chance for exposure.
Some of the reasons why parents must treat their kids as friends are:
· In this fast-paced era, parents generally do not seem to have quality time for their kids. Due to this, there is a barrier to communication between kids and parents, which could gradually lead to disastrous consequences.
· It is at home that the foundations of values and ethics are created, built and nurtured. The values imbibed by the tiny tots at home are further reinforced at school, by their teachers and the Principal and non- teaching staff.
· It is imperative and the need of the hour that parents must look up to their kids as individuals in their own right, with their own capacity for sentiments and emotions. The onus lies on the parents to win the confidence of kids by treating them as equals.
· Parents are the best well-wishers of their children. It is parents who stand by the children when even the closest of friends give up due to paucity of time, their own priorities, their own obligations towards their own family members, etc.
· So it is up to the parents to identify the real needs of children. They can do this with a keen sense of observation, but they should be in direct communication with their kids to be in a position to judge what their kids actually want. By keeping communication lines open with kids, parents will help the kids to realize that someone close to them is listening to them.
· So parents must accept that kids are required to be treated as equals, so that kids feel important in the family. Instead of expecting the kids to come up to the level of the parents, parents themselves must come down to the level of kids, in order to instil confidence in the kids that the elders are with them.
· Kids are innocent. They have their own ideas, fantasies and dreams. Parents on the other hand are conditioned by life, their struggle and the rat race to be one up on their neighbours. Kids in general, have illusions about someone they want to become or something they want to achieve. They are normally not pragmatic in their ideas. It is here that parents must play the role of showing the kids the right path and making them aware of the pitfalls in other paths.
· Once the parents consider their kids as friends, the kids will have no inhibitions in sharing their own joys or sorrows, their small successes or failures with parents. The kids will not have to go elsewhere to seek approval of their actions.
Thus, it is in the interest of kids, parents and society that parents must treat their kids as friends. So, ideally the parent-child relationship has to get transformed into a friendship. Trust has to be created, nurtured and built by parents in their children, especially those in their teens.
Anup Y. Attavar
B.E. Mech. (COEP, Pune); P.G.D. – International Trade (IIFT, New Delhi)
Alumnus – Loyola High School, Pune (India)
Special Correspondent – Dwarka Parichay (Western India)
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