“Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are”.
RM wrote this post on friendships and does one need to keep tab on whom their children make friends with.
Did our parents really do it? I think yes – My parents did,rather mom did upto an extent. All along they have always encouraged us to tell them about school/college and our friends.There was obviously no ‘control’ ever,but she did know who my friends were and where I was going with them – those kind of tabs.And both bro and me had no problems ever bringing friends home -gender not being an issue, talking about them with the parents for most part. Infact a huge gang of 12 used to come home on the pretext of combined studies during every study holidays and mom/granny ensured that there used to be food for everyone…
Dad and Mom used to very often quote lives of other people who spoilt their life by being in bad company and that I think was a very subtle way of showing us the good and the bad. One instance I can recall very clearly is in first year degree. Mom wasnt very fond of 1 of my friends for various reasons. She didnt like me going out with her as she thought she is a bad influence on me. At that point in time, I rebelled.I went to a movie with her once and a few other friends and didnt tell mom about it. Unfortunately my parents saw my other set of friends at the local complex and I was not with them and she figured out (I think Mom instinct?) that I had lied to her and gone with the other friend. The minute I came home she was in a rage. Red rage I must admit. She was not angry that I went to a movie-she was more angry because I lied. And I screamed right back at her and questioned her if she didnt trust her upbringing – that was when she said that I had broked her trust which was all about upbringing – I would’ve told her the truth and she felt betrayed by her upbringing. After she calmed down she told me that after a certain age once we enter college we spend more time with friends than at home with parents and often the parents viewpoints get questioned. Its upon the parents to really think and draw that thin line of being lenient and let the child be and impose some rules on them. And so here’s where friends do play an important part in shaping up our final personalities.
There is no definition for a bad friendship. But there is a definition for influential friendship. And kids are definitely more influenced by their peers and their views and often the parents views are considered out-dated. That is when problems can arise if parents are not aware of the children’s friendships.
Finally, I think today what my mom did that evening was right – she showed me how a bad influence can shake the very belief that you have grown up with. You cannot control the child’s friendships but you can definitely be aware of his/her friends and keep a check so that incase there arises a need you will know what to do and how to takle the problem.