A parent should be one person a child feels he can talk to about anything, and the same person who sets the rules, boundaries and expectations for behaviours. This structure provides children with a sense of safety and belonging.
Parents are there to protect, guide and teach their children as they go through life. They are expected to model kind behaviour, keep the family safe, and provide consistency in a child’s life so a child can feel safe and comfortable, and best able to handle life’s challenges along the way.
If done well, this is how an open relationship between a parent and the child is established. It is the job of the parent to give the child consequences for those behaviours, while using the experience as a teachable moment.
Mrs. Tosin Olaniyi, a mother of three children said that all her efforts are geared toward being her children’s friend, but she won’t sacrifice disciplining them for being a weak mom which some parents consider cool these days.
‘’My husband and I have rules for our children. We set limits and boundaries. When those aren’t followed, my children know the consequences. I love my children and I want them to be the best they can be in life. I want them to make mistakes and learn from them. I want them to be good to others and treat others how they want to be treated. Most of all, I want them to be happy and comfortable with whom they are. I will support them, but I won’t spoil them.’’
Mrs. Olaniyi enjoys playing games, watching movies and even joking with her children even when she didn’t experience such with her own mother. Growing up, she feared her mother, couldn’t get close to her nor discuss things bothering her with her mom.
But she has brought up her children differently. Her children confide in her when they make mistakes and she offers them help to correct it. They talk about their problems and she in turn offers her unconditional support. She respects them and let them make their own choices, just as she does too.
Mrs. Olaniyi reveals that the kind of friendship she has built with her children doesn’t prevent her from being their mom. In fact, it has actually helped her be a better parent. The time they spend just hanging out and having fun is usually the time they tell her things about themselves and their lives.
“I have learned to relate to them, despite the age difference, making it easier to offer them the help they actually need to overcome their struggles. Being my children’s friend is a part of being their mom. It means getting to know them more and looking out for their best interests even if they don’t always like my discipline.”