Parent Or Pal? 6 Ways To Earn Your Child’s Friendship
Sadhguru is a yogi, humanitarian and NY Times bestselling author. Here, he looks at what
parents need to do to earn their child’s friendship and create an atmosphere that will help the
Sadhguru: A few hundred years ago, John Wilmot, an English lord, said something
significant about parenting: “Before I got married, I had six theories about bringing up
children. Now I have six children and no theories.” So what should you do in terms of
parenting? Look back at yourself when you were a child – what kind of parents would have
been the best? Remember what it was like to be a child, and you will clearly know.
Parents should earn the friendship of the new generation. If there was a bond of friendship
between you and your children, naturally they would listen to you.
6 Ways To Earn Your Child’s Friendship
- Stand on the same level as them
A relationship is only possible when you are not on the pulpit but down on the ground, like
everyone else. If you are a parent, it is important that you do not stand on a big pedestal. In
trying to place yourself above your children, you lose the possibility of being a good friend to
them. If you admit your ignorance with the youth, and especially with little children, they will
become your close friends. Otherwise they look up to you because they have to. Everyone
hates that hierarchy.
- Learn from your young ones
If you have a child, all you have to do is create a loving, supportive, and invigorating
atmosphere. There is really nothing to teach. You came here a few years earlier than the
child. What you know about life that the child does not know are just a few tricks of the world,
how to survive and how to make a living. They will learn them later on. Right now, when a
child enters your life, it is time to learn, not to teach. Children may not know what is
dangerous, what is nice, and things like that. But hopefully you have a certain wisdom about
life around you, which children may not have. If they are moving towards danger, exercise
your wisdom. Otherwise, children are able to conduct life more joyfully than you. Learn those
aspects from them.
- Keep your expectations aside, and let their genius unfold
Most parents do not cultivate the genius of their children. They are trying to drive their
children in a particular direction. Do not drive. You cannot get rose flowers from a plant that
is not a rose plant. It will come out with a different kind of flower. You should not expect rose
flowers out of everything just because you like rose flowers. You have a new and fresh life in
your home. We do not know what will come out of it.
A new life is not a small thing. If you see it as a phenomenon which blossomed in your body,
came out and is growing – out of two cells, life is happening in front of you, taking shape – if
you watch it with utter wonder and create the right kind of atmosphere, your child will grow
into something beautiful. But they may not be the rose flower that you expected. They need
not become what you expect because your expectations are coming from the graveyard of
the past. Children belong to the future.
- Recognize the privilege
It is a privilege that this child – this bundle of joy – has come through you and arrived in your
house. Children are not your property; they do not belong to you. Just see how to enjoy,
nurture, and support them. Don’t try to make them an investment for your future.
- Spend time with them doing things they enjoy
When there is no friendship, if you go on giving your children advice, it is sickening, and they
will do the reverse just to spite you. Stop advising them. Just be friends with them, play with
them, go to the cinema with them, listen to their kind of music, dance with them – you will
see they will be fond of you and there will be a relationship. Once there is a relationship, you
can do something to influence them.
- Make yourself as appealing as possible
A child is influenced by so many things – the TV, neighbours, teachers, school, and a million
other things. He will go the way of whatever he finds most attractive. As a parent, you have
to make yourself in a way that the most attractive thing he finds is to be with the parents. If
you are a joyous and wonderful person, he won’t seek company anywhere else. For
anything, he will come and ask you.
If you are genuinely interested in giving your children a good upbringing, you should first
transform yourself into a peaceful and loving human being.
Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic, visionary and a New York Times bestselling author. Named one
of India’s 50 most influential people, Sadhguru’s work has touched the lives of millions
worldwide through his transformational programmes. His approach does not ascribe to any
belief system, but offers powerful and proven methods for self-transformation. Sadhguru’s
flagship programme is called Inner Engineering Online.
For more information, please visit: https://www.innerengineering.com/online
For all enquiries, please email: [email protected]