Buddy Parenting is one such trend that has caught the fancy of parents’ world over. Buddy Parenting or treating your kids as a friend is a positive trend. Parenting is a celebration. It passes so quickly. Why not cherish every moment & make beautiful memories.
The relationship between parents & kids greatly determines the future behavior & personality of children. The learning of the initial years is crucial for the development of the kids. With the advent of technology, the kids are overloaded with the information.
Parents can’t simply order them around without giving a proper explanation. One needs to be far more friendly in his/her approach while dealing with a kid.
What is Buddy Parenting?
I wasn’t aware of the term Buddy Parenting until now. Technically, most of us try it with our teenage kids. We try to be their ‘Buddy’ or friends. In fact, this approach can be applied at much earlier stage.
I have so many fond memories with my kids. I am literally reliving my ‘bachpan’ with them. Parenting is not always about being in control, correcting mistakes, teaching. It is much more than that.
Parenting is setting you free, relish the innocence of your child, making an imaginary world & enjoying it. The rat race called life takes away the zeal from our lives. We perform all tasks but in a mechanical way. Observe the same task done by a kid ( watch them play pretend parents) you will be astonished to see their approach to any given problem.
love fear animals. I have this strange phobia of animals. I can’t go near them leave alone touching them. For years, I have maintained a ‘safe’ distance citing excuses like ‘they are unhygienic’ ‘ they might get aggressive’ ‘ they bite’ & so on.
A couple of weeks ago, we went for a family picnic. While returned home, we stopped at a cafe. While I & my husband were having a cuppa, our kids started playing with the owner’s dog.
Out of sheer habit & years of fighting my phobia, I called out to my kids saying Come back you both. Don’t play with the dog. It might bite you
” No, Mom. It is such a cute dog. You too come & play with it” My daughter came running to me & literally dragged me to the dog. She picked the dog in her hands, patting it with affection.
” See mom. It doesn’t bite. Touch it for once. Come. Don’t be afraid”
I asked her to put the dog down. After watching it for a good one minute, I gathered the courage to touch it. I knelt down & touched its head. It was such an adorable dog. It came closer & start wagging its tail. My fears were gone in a jiffy.
Lesson Learnt: You have to overcome your fears. Take the first step & face it. It will never bother you again.
When I was a child, I often heard adults saying ‘ Don’t do this. You are still young. I grew up imbibing the fact that you need to reach a certain age to do a few things. I am a yoga practitioner.
One fine day I was performing my routine yoga & my son was playing nearby. He came & sat on my yoga mat pretending to do a yoga pose. I smiled. I took him in my arms & said, Darling, you are too young. Just wait for few more years’.
I continued with my ‘Surya Nameshkar’. When I opened my eyes I saw him doing exactly the same posture as I was doing. I was pleasantly surprised. I never taught him a thing. And he was, doing all postures perfectly.
Lesson Learnt: There is no age of learning
Step By Step Learning Of Buddy Parenting
Parenting is an ongoing process, Kind of roll with the flow. You learn from your experiences, watching other parents & by making mistakes. There is nothing like a perfect parenting guide.
Every child is unique so is the way to deal with him/her. It is not advisable to follow a rule book for parenting. One rule fits all doesn’t apply here. However, there are some common aspects of parenting that we all can adhere to.
Laying A Firm Foundation
The bond between a parent & child starts from the beginning. Many studies show that if you interact with your child from the beginning, remain close through school & college, it is more likely that you will always remain close for the rest of your life.
It is crucial to bring the family together. A happy family stands on the firm foundation of strong relationships.
From my motherhood experience, I have learned that the best way to handle the kids is to understand their psychology, be friendly & explain why you want them to do a thing in a certain way.
After an age of 4-5 years, kids usually create their own parallel universe. And apparently parents are not allowed into it.
In order to break the formidable wall, parents need to approach really gently. After initial failure, I shed my authoritative persona & became one with their world. Now we play together, eat, laugh, shop & most importantly learn together.
Fun Activities together
In order to bond, we need to participate in fun activities with the kids. It is such a pleasure to move outside the confines of our home & explore nature.
It has not only helped me & kids to explore our surroundings but create a bonding that was not possible inside the house. I always make sure to do as many outdoor activities with my kids as possible over the weekend. We …
- Go Hiking
- Go Camping
- Visit Museum & parks
- Go out for a nature trail
- Visit farms & Parks
- Sometimes Just A walk in the neighborhood
Respect Their Opinion
We often ignore our kid’s opinions. This is something that most of parents need to learn. Kids have their views & opinion on all most everything. If we simply ignore them by saying ‘you are too young’ or ‘you don’t understand, we are pushing them right back in their shells.
In every relationship, communication plays an important part. With kids, it’s vital to keep the doors of communication open. You have to remain pragmatic while dealing with the issues concerning kids.
Ask their opinion, listen to what they have to say? Why do they feel that way? It will help you to understand them better. You earn yourself respect when you respect their thoughts
Ever since I can remember, my mother always asked our opinion about matters concerning us. Such as finalizing vacation spot, jotting down a shopping list, organizing get-togethers, she always sought our opinion.
It helped us to communicate fearlessly with our mother. Believe me, it’s crucial at every stage of parenting. Communication is the Key.
I must admit, sometimes I get worked up by the numerous questions my kids asked. Who, What & Why? I get irritated. I take a deep breath.
Suddenly the realization dawns upon me that it’s a positive sign that kids are asking questions, they observe, keen to learn. No matter how busy we are, we need to address their questions in the best way possible.
Don’t Be Punitive
Sometimes kids get over our nerves. We feel the urge to punish & set the things straight. That’s never a good idea. Remember your days. Did punishment change you for good?
I can’t remember that punishment ever taught me anything. Rather it instilled fear & anger. Every time I was punishment, I crawled back deeper in my own world & detached myself from the surrounding.
I won’t advocate punishment free parenting ( if that’s even possible) but we can definitely look into more productive ways of punishing the kids. Punishment should be a lesson for them rather than just a reaction from parents.
Things I have learned from Buddy parenting
Parenting transforms you in more ways than you can imagine. Motherhood has brought so many positive changes in me. Surprisingly, It is not always you who is teaching the kids.
Many times it goes the other way round. I am the one learning a new thing daily. Raising two kids has made me a completely different person.
1. It has calmed me. I am more into control of my emotions
2. I am more social than before. During my growing up years, I only mingled with my friends & relatives. After becoming a mother, I can connect easily with fellow parents, youngsters & pretty much everyone. My social skills have definitely improved.
3. I have shed my inhibition & started enjoying activities I never enjoyed before. I don’t think twice before taking a fun ride or getting my hands dirty in the mud, something I had not done for years.
4. Be more forgiving & caring. Kids forget & forgive so quickly. They fight & makeup in seconds as if nothing has ever happened. Although I am still in the learning phase. Yet I try & keep the negative feelings at bay.
5. Be inquisitive. Our education system molds our thinking process. Instead of asking we just restrict ourselves to mugging what’s being taught. I get astonished by the keen observation of my kids.
6. To laugh more, smile more, learn more
7. Respecting what we have.
The journey so far has been tremendous. I am discovering a whole new me. Buddy parenting has introduced many facets of my personality that I never knew even existed. While I will always be eternally grateful for the upbringing my parents have given, I would also like to thank my kids for helping me explore a new ME.
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Buddy Parenting helps to break those walls which keep you from being ‘friendly’ with your kid. We need to shed the’authoritative persona’ & see the difference in your bonding. Motherhood has been the most enriching & fulfilling experience of my life. I have learned to be fun, forgiving, open-minded, a team player while interacting with my kids. Buddy parenting has definitely created a beautiful bond between us.