Can parents be good friends?

The most memorable moments in our lives are the ones we spend with friends. Friends are the ones who understand, support, encourage and in short are always there for us. One thing that always bothers me is whether our children will ever experience true friendship? Children with autism with impaired social skills and inability to express feeling are not ideal friend magnets. But a life devoid of this wonderful bond is incomplete. So last year on friendship day, I decided to be my son’s friend. Today is the first anniversary of our friendship! In the past year, we have shared some amazing moments of bonding interspersed with moments when I had to make him understand that though I am his friend, I am a parent first and can teach him discipline too! Its a tough task.

But in the past year, he has learned to express a lot of emotions in a positive way. He now expresses his anger without throwing a tantrum! One amazing thing I noticed is that he has picked up a few things by imitation. I generally give him a serious look when he becomes too naughty, now he gives me serious looks when I don’t listen to him! I was wondering why this sudden interest in me and willingness to imitate. That’s probably because we are friends now. Aren’t we all more close with our friends than we are with our parents?  Like I said earlier, its a tough task to be friend and a parent at the same time. But it has its own rewards!

I wish, hope and pray that ever child with autism finds one true friend!

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