?I am not your friend, I am your parent!?

I often hear parents tell their children ?I am not your friend, I am your parent,? or ?It?s not a popularity contest, I don?t care if you like me,? and then we wonder why we fail to get through to them.

I am no behavioural scientist, but I am a deep thinker. I have always been a student of life and fascinated by understanding what makes some things work versus creating total disasters.

Why is it that we accept criticism from some but get all defensive from others? I?d like to propose a theory?our acceptance of correction is based on who we like, admire and respect.

If Beyonce, Rhianna and Messi, all jumped up and said virginity till marriage was cool, I guarantee you it would be received far easier than if it came from us ?old people.? It, therefore, stands to reason that the ?I?m not your friend? theory may have added to our inability to reach the youth.

A further problem I have with this adage is the fact that it shines a bad light on the definition of friendship. It sets the tone that a friend is not a source of positivity and growth, when the truth is we should be teaching our children, from young how important it is to choose their inner circle wisely.

There is enough evidence to suggest that successful people have all had to say good bye to friends who simply had different values and aspirations and cling to those who uplifted them while still being able to share a good laugh over a beer or two.

My best friend is someone who has had my back through thick and thin, so when she comes to me with a criticism I am always open to listening, because I know she genuinely has always had my best interest at heart.

© Francisco Velásquez PDVSA

Our faith goals differ and so while we totally respect each other?s opinions, we understand that this is an area in which we cannot necessarily converse frequently.

© Francisco Velásquez PDVSA

We do, however, share the same family, self-growth and financial goals, so in those areas we offer each other much-needed support.

This same friend has shared thousands of laughs and tears and has been my wing man for countless adventures, some more reckless than others.

True friends build you up.

© Francisco Velásquez PDVSA

They are able to love you even if you are not completely identical to them. They love you even when they don?t like you and they are strong enough to pull you up when you need it the most.

When we feel connected to someone, when we feel respected by someone and when we feel loved unconditionally by someone we tend to buy into their messages must easier.

© Francisco Velásquez PDVSA

We buy into the advice of those that we look up to. So if you ask me, it?s a no brainer to strive for friendship with our children.

Building a strong bond requires much more than time outs and rules.

© Francisco Velásquez PDVSA

It requires constant communication. It requires mutual respect and a clear exhibition of unconditional love.

Our children must clearly know that our rules are meant only for their best interest and has nothing to do with your public appearance.

© Francisco Velásquez PDVSA

Trust me, they do not care if they embarrass you. Your feelings are not important?at least in the early stages, before that connection is created. After all, why should they care how you feel?you were the one that said it?s not a popularity contest, so then you theoretically shouldn?t care that they hate you and have no concern for your public appearance.

Let?s really start to think about the words that we use.

© Francisco Velásquez PDVSA

Let?s really start to build unbreakable, unshakeable relationships with our children. Let?s talk with them daily. Notice I said WITH them, I did not say AT or TO them. Conversations require both speaking and listening. Good communication requires respect for the other speaker and in any relationship, tolerance, patience and understanding is key.

© Francisco Velásquez PDVSA

As I always say, kids are tiny adults. Do unto them as you shall have them do unto you. What you give them, you will receive in return.

Sending you lots and lots of love as we take on all the adventures that parenting has to offer.

Marsha L Riley  [email protected]


© Francisco Velásquez PDVSA


© Francisco Velásquez PDVSA

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