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The Importance of Being Parents, Not Friends

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The beautiful word ”FRIEND” carries a sense of togetherness, complicity, understanding, fun, and trust. But for you, as mothers and fathers, you are more than friends, you are parents and here are some pieces of advice to help you be the best parents you can be.


Children need to have a parental figure of reference for their evolutionary development.  So if you choose to hang your ‘parent’ suit in the closet and dress as a ‘friend,’ you run the risk of leaving your little one behind. Friends come and go (depending on the evolutionary moment) but you are unique in that you are the only one that will always be providing emotional support, security, and education…


The relation that your child establishes with you should be vertical, while the one that unites them with their peers is horizontal. When educating a child it is essential to establish certain limits so that they learn that “not everything is worth it,” making them aware that every action has a consequence and they alone are the only ones responsible for their actions. If we break this barrier we could be doomed to a lenient parenthood, losing validity as a parental figure and thus raising rebellious people without limits, minimal impulse control, and with a low tolerance for frustration.


Share and enjoy family time where communication comes first in order to cultivate a feeling of mutual trust and create an affectionate, stable, and safe emotional climate. Listen, be aware, understand and give importance to the feelings and problems that come up for your child. Although they may have minor relevance to you remember that for your child this is ”their big problem.”


The home is the first educational school for children and it is where they should learn moral and ethical codes of behavior. Stimulate your child’s critical and independent thinking, it generates a feeling of self-improvement and nonconformity which helps them to lead an active, healthy life with a balanced diet.


Parents are the model and compass that guides little ones on their first steps through life. Role models are people of admiration that encourage personal growth. Show them the importance of dialogue to solve problems, the ability to manage anger and impulses, to recognize mistakes and ask for forgiveness, the value of being honest, grateful, kind, sincere, and lively people. Lead by example.

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Diane Ackerman
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