How to be your kid’s best friend

… because, it is about more than just ‘loving’ your family
By Nikita Jhanglani

We live in a time where the proverbial generation gap between parents and children (millennials, mostly) is the most intense. Children have issues that are difficult for the parents to understand and vice-versa.

Within these chaotic times (and temperaments) can we create a stress-free, harmonious parent-child relationship?

We have a few hacks for parents that, in millennial slang, could up their status to their kid’s BFFs! These hacks may work on any age! A kid can always use a friend!

Pou
r ‘em hearts out
Open communication is the key that can help filter all the masses of information the internet age children process on a daily basis. . They need a balanced, non-judgemental, and experienced sounding board. A parent that chats about even taboo topics with a casual calm and funny attitude can notch up those friendship points fast! These are the bonds that will always glue a family together.

Date nights are the best nights (and days, too)
Plan dates with your children. Discuss your schedules and together decide on a time and place; don’t just announce that they have to be somewhere on your time. Do something you love, and something they love. Experiment with an activity they never thought you would be “cool” with — eg. rap music. But make it about you too — take this time to give them tools that will help cope with their stress -- like any kind of fun meditation, or dance & art therapies. Figure out fun ways for gratefulness and forgiveness activities!

Be their safe space
Create a safe space for them where they can talk to you about issues like anxiety and stress, not because you are their parents, but because they know that you won’t judge them.

Children today have a lot of options/issues when it comes to their personal and professional choices. When they approach you with an idea/problem, hear them out. Understand where they are coming from. Explain your viewpoint to them. Help them find a solution rather than giving them one. Foisting your decision on them can be counter-productive. Discussion will yield better results. If they are right about something, tell them about it and compliment them on their right thinking.

Sharing is caring (when it isn’t one way and isn’t just limited to stuff and food)
Tell each other about your day. Share your struggles with them: the big ones and the day-to-day ones. Tell them your problems and how you are attempting to solve them. Ask them for their opinion and help.

Indulge them
Encourage them to indulge in hobbies. Try out new things together; learn with them. Let them gorge on the junkiest of foods at least once in a blue moon. Become a kid with them again, and remember what fun it was to break a few rules! Forming a connection with your children is key. Being friends with your children is easy. Just a little bit of effort is all it takes.

Nikita Jhanglani is a technical and creative content writer, editor and book blogger. Currently, she is into world domination, one checklist at a time.

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