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Thursday, 12 June 2014

Parent or best bud?

It's good to be a dad, it's better to be a friend?

A recent advert made this bold statement. It was about a dad showing his son all the fun things he used to do as a child, which was lovely to see.

We often bemoan the fact that our children are not getting the childhoods we had, spending too much time in front of computers and too little climbing trees.

But, because of that strapline, the advert instantly had me asking the question, do parents try too hard to be their children's friends these days and by doing so, neglect the role of parent and mentor?

I know the advert was meant to be nostalgic for all of us who, born in the seventies and eighties, spent most of our childhood playing outside.

Back in the days before cbeebies and nick jr, when it was always hot in the summer and snowed in the winter (at least that's how I rose tintedly remember it)….

When a Saturday morning show was about all we got. Remember Going Live, Swapshop, Get Fresh, even Tiswas?

But now we are the adults. So, while parents are busily 'fraping' their children on Facebook and trying to be cool, are they forgetting that the real job is to teach our children right from wrong?

When entirely frustrated with my three year old the other day and pulling my hair out at his naughty antics, it occurred to me, kids aren't born knowing what to do.

They push the boundaries and that is their way of finding out what is allowed and what is not.

We bring them into the world. Instead of sticking them in front of xboxes and leaving it to the schools to show them the way, it is our job to guide them from the start.

It is good to be friend. To love and cherish your child, to build their confidence and to try and be understanding where you can. But it is more important, I believe, to be a parent.

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