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My children are not my friends

Updated: Sep 8, 2021

Sculpture by Isamu Noguchi

During a visit to Kolkata, my cousin Raja, a deep and wonderful man, asked me, "How would you describe your relationship with your children?"

Puffing my chest out, proudly, I replied, "Why, we are friends."

He replied, "Forgive me Veer ji for pointing it out, but your children have many friends, where as they have only one set of parents. The only people who will be firm and honest with people are their parents and their genuine teachers."

I was irritated that my cousin 15 years younger than me, should even think this way. "How old fashioned and outdated was his outlook?" As is often the case, when our long held opinions and beliefs are challenged, Raja's statement disturbed me.

When I returned from Kolkata, I decided to ask my sons Mohit and Pavit over Sunday lunch, about defining our relationship. We discussed my trip and what all had transpired.

Eventually I got around to my conversation with Raja. I then asked them, "Do you think I should be more of a friend or less of a friend to you guys?

Both my sons replied in unison and without hesitation, "Less of a friend".

I was flabbergasted, and felt somewhat disappointed. I had to know why they said that.

Mohit and Pavit

Then Mohit our elder son said, "Dad we love and respect you, but you know, with friends there are no boundaries, and sometimes, we take you for granted. When we treat you as a friend we often say or behave silly, sometimes even disrespectful. When we behave like that with you, and even though you never get offended, we deeply regret it. This is why, it is better that we be more respectful, than friendly."

"Wow! I did not see that one coming", I told myself.

I realised it is the fashion to be friends with one's children, but there is big difference between being friends and being friendly.

Maybe you should ask yourself and your children the same question.


Guru Wonder:

Ref: G0444

98 views3 comments


I asked myself the same question : What is the nature of my relationship with my children. I was unable to answer it. Then I read your comments. The answer is that the nature of the relationship is Parent : child. Sadly I wish I was more of a "friend" and less of a "Parent". In other words there needs to be a balance. Neither one or the other. My balance has gone is more towards "Parent". I need to move the balance a little more towards the "Friend"... for which I will be making a definite attempt. thanks for increasing my awareness.

Sincerely, Khushroo Rustumji


Gurvinder Singh
Gurvinder Singh
Jan 08, 2019

Thank you Dear Mohit,

Will call you soon.

Have a great year.


Mohit Narayan
Mohit Narayan
Dec 31, 2018

Dear Sir,

Good to see the pictures of Mohit & Pavit,

would like to meet all of you, when ever possible pls inform.


Mohit -9552003871

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