Monday, November 7, 2011

Parents as Friend

Parents are person that is very close to their children than others. The father as a leader in his family, not only playing his role in administering and managing the welfare of family, but also to give love, to concern and to build good relationship with all members in his family. The mother as the assistant to the father is certainly should have full commitment and attention to the family especially to her children. Both father and mother play an important role in educating their children, molding them to be good people in the future. Therefore, instead of just being their parents, they have to ensure themselves to be as closer as possible to their children like friendship relationship. Only then the children will have courage and feel motivated to share everything with the parents.

            First and foremost I would like to define what the meaning of friend is actually.  The most basic definition of a ‘friend’ is someone whom a person knows and likes. Importantly, this knowledge and liking are assumed to be mutual: that is a person does not call another person a friend unless he or she knows and likes that person, and assumes that the other person knows and likes him or her as well. Friendships may also include a high level of intimacy, a closeness that leads friends to talk freely with one another about their personal thoughts and feelings.

            From this definition of friend we know how close a friend is. Therefore it is important for parents to have this kind of relationship with their children. Becoming a friend does not mean the parents have to give up all their right as parents and channel their responsibility to the responsibility of friend. They should not do that. What they have to do is just by adding new role in the relationship. 

In order to be a friend to the children, parents should act accordingly with what is usually a friend does to his or her friend. There are certain roles and characteristics of friendship that the parents should possess. The characteristics of friendship are trust, chemistry, concern or caregiver, learning as well as playing partner.

Firstly, the characteristic of friend that parents should possess is a trust. Trust is important between both parents and their children. The parents should have trust in their children and at the same time their children also will develop indivisible trust in their parents. By this trust, parents will not have bad feeling to their children and let the children to manage themselves and correct their mistake through good advice. Besides, the children also will not hesitate to ask a favor and talk their problem freely to their parents. They believe their parents can be good listener and advisor to them.

The second characteristic of friend is the chemistry. Chemistry can be defined as mutual understanding between parents and children. It is not only one party to understand but both parties must understand each other in order to solve any dispute and it will lead to the toleration. Here, parents should put their self in the shoe of their children. They have to understand the interest and tendency of their children. It is better if parents also involve in the daily activities of their children.

 The parents have to update with the current situation and to be able to use the language or slang during conversation with their children. It is to ensure the children to feel comfort and have confident to talk with parents. It means the parents should not be too strict, rigid and formal. Parents have to know by approaching their children through this way, it becomes a mean to dakwah to their children because the Prophet PBUH also talked with people based on their level of mind and their age.

The third characteristic is the concern or caregiver. Nowadays, it becomes something normal if the children always seek advice and share their problem with friends. However, it is not a good culture in the society. It should be channeled to the parents who should be the true caregiver and concern to the welfare of their children. Therefore, the parents should encourage the children to share problem with them. At the very first stage, the parents should not refuse to listen and give favor to the children. It is to avoid bad perception from the children and in the long term they will go far from their parents.

Finally, the role of friend that parents should possess is the learning and playing partner to their children. At the very beginning, the parents should stick with their children, teach them a lesson and make it interesting. Parents should not get angry if the children keep asking them about something. Parents also should not give severe punishment to the children if they are quite slow in learning. But parents should teach them with love and become their partner. The children will be more motivated to ask anything that they do not understand rather than remain silence.

Besides, parents also must play role as the children’s playing partner. Since they are small, the parents should accompany their children to play. They should not let the children to play alone because while they are playing they are also learning. Parents must attend their children effectively and should not get bored with them.

As a conclusion, father and mother should not play a role as parents only, but they have to be a close friend to their children also. It is the synchronization of all values of learning and playing partner, trust, chemistry as well as concern. Becoming learning and playing partner to their children is a good start to create friendship with the children. Only then the children will develop all the values of friendship to their parents. When parents play a game with their children, the children will develop trust to their parents and feel happy moment in the family. Since the trust has been developed, there will be understanding between both parents and children. This chemistry will ensure the intimacy of them as a family and finally leads to the role of concern in family.

1. Handbook of Peer Interaction, Relationship and Groups by Kenneth H. Rubin.
3. Handbook of Psychology: Developmental Psychology by Irving B. Weiner.

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