Be A Parent, Not A Pal

Joanne Mallon - Toddlers An Instruction ManualHave you bought the excellent ‘Toddlers: An Instruction Manual’ by Joanne Mallon yet? Do you really need another reason to buy it? It’s full of useful advice from parents, and isn’t just one perspective on dealing with a toddler; it’s many – and as I’ve said before, we’re already putting some of the suggestions into practice – and coming up with brilliant results. Even moreso, you know you’re not alone!

Joanne has kindly let us have another extract from the book – and we’ve opened comments below – let us know what you think, or come and post on our Facebook Group!

Be a parent, not a pal – why you are not your child’s best friend, and never will be.
I really despair when I hear parents referring to their child as their “best friend”. You are not their best friend, nor they yours, and if you honestly think that that’s the case, both of you need to get out more.

Why would a three year old want to be best friends with a 30-something woman? Why would a grown man get his friendship needs from a little kid? Your child needs a parent, not a best friend. They can go to nursery and make plenty of friends. But at home, they need a parent, and they need you for that.

You might think that you stepped into the parent role when you had your baby, but did you really? I think that we only fully step up to the parenting role once our children start challenging that role – when we have to be strong enough to say no to them, and set boundaries.

Many of us find it hard to discipline our children – it smacks too much of being the boring grown up, when we might not feel particularly grown up at any age. Also, this issue can cast a shadow back to our own childhoods, especially if our parents treated us in a way that we didn’t like. Shouting at children and smacking them was much more acceptable to previous generations than it is right now. We have to find new ways of doing things and forge our own path.

So however you choose to do things, you’re doing your child no favours if you choose to be a chum rather than what they need – a parent who can make the hard choices, say no when they need to and always provide a strong foundation of unwavering love. Friends come and go, but family is for life.

From: Toddlers: An Instruction Manual (c) Joanne Mallon 2011

You can buy the paperback here and the Kindle edition here. Thank you Joanne!

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