Only wise and loving parenting will enable a child to realise his/her true potential, to be a loving and gentle human being and to develop robust self-esteem. here, three successful parents share their secrets
Set your children free
swami nikhilananda, acharya, chinmaya mission, on the fine art of parenting
Why are families falling apart?
The problem is overindulgence in the present in a way that completely negates the future. We are ensnared in selfish acts, with the ‘I’ (aham) overpowering our entire being. There’s nothing wrong in drawing water from a flowing river, but blocking it from flowing further is not right. The human race must continue. Families must continue.
Is it right to say that a child chooses his parents?
The atma is like a seed seeking a suitable environment to grow and flourish. As soon as it finds the right place, it enters the mother’s womb. This is the moment of conception. Thus, in a sense, it is right to say that a child selects his own parents.
What is the right kind of parenting?
In the first five years of a child, the mother plays a dominant role. She must shower the child with unconditional love. It is at this age that he/she learns to love in return. Respect your child. We often try to fiddle with a child—hold him, shake him or kiss him against his wishes. This is not respectful.
From 6-10 years, values need to be instilled in a child. Here, the father’s role becomes crucial, while the mother’s role takes a new turn. Do not pass on your insecurities, doubts and fears to your child. Teach him healthy competition, and that success and failure go hand-in-hand.
Above 15 years of age, it’s time to become a friend to your child. Keep instructing him, but change the mode of instruction.
As parents, how can we control our anger?
Control your expectations. Don’t overload the child with irrational demands. Instead, vent your frustrations through spiritual practices like meditation. You need to respect your child’s feelings. Treat him/her as your friend. Just like you don’t own your friends, you don’t own your children either. Set them free and don’t be afraid of losing them. Like your true friends, they too will come back to you, love you, care for you and respect you.
But then friends are not as intrinsic a part of you as your own children?
Dependence of any kind will only cause sorrow. Friendship is a beautiful relationship that knows no boundaries. You can be friend to an old man, a young child, an animal, and yet, the love and respect remains the same. Develop a mature friendship with your children. Spend quality time with them and allow them to grow.
And where does one draw a line between freedom and discipline?
Freedom can only be given if one is responsible enough to handle it. It’s like living in a free society. If you are not responsible, you can be punished, fined or even prosecuted. Similarly make your child responsible. Give freedom gradually. Warn him/her about the pitfalls, without instilling fear.
Can love be taught to a child?
Love can be taught to your child by having a loving heart yourself. As I said earlier, give your child unconditional love before he turns five. This way he will learn to love you in return. A child is blessed with a remarkable sixth sense. He/she can discern real love from artificial love. Physical touch is also an important part of expressing love. Contrary to popular belief, one must express love naturally and spontaneously. Only then can it be conveyed in its true sense. We adults have a vacuum inside us. We lack true love, and feed ourselves on attachment and perversion. This is the root cause of our sorrows, doubts, fears and insecurities, which we unknowingly are passing on to our children.
|HOME | SUBSCRIBE | WALLPAPERS | ADVERTISING | POLICY | PRACTITIONERS | WRITERS | PEOPLE | ABOUT | CONTACT|