Yesterday I spent pretty much time thinking of the ways to inculcate discipline and other virtues in kids. How are we to go about? What’s the right age to start?
Well I got some enlightening answers from the thinking departments of my body-heart and brain. I discovered something so nice- I realised why kids start disrespecting their elders? I also realised why they don’t want to confide to their parents, why they choose friends over family in their teen years?
While I write what I felt, you might judge for yourselves as to what you feel about these issues. Because all children related issues, most of them like disobedient children, restless children, “tantrum” children and other issues need to be understood. And who else can understand their children better than their parents.
Actually, we parents can discipline our children the way we want to, and imbibe in them the virtues that we want them to have. All we need is a very thoughtful and loving insight of ourselves and our children.
Self respect and self worth are very much the qualities of each and every soul. That is why, a child smiles back while you lovingly gaze at it and when you are harsh, it can’t help itself but cry. A child is nothing but an embodied soul on one of it’s many journeys. It has chosen us for special reasons to clear of its karmic debts that will elevate it spiritually. It is very necessary that we understand this thoroughly. We must view it as a different soul and respect it, and nurture it so that our duty is fulfilled and our child too elevates spiritually so that he can cope with the different situations in life.
We often hit the child and scold it harshly without getting a glimpse of his mental health. A child is very tender and in its formative years it picks up every bit and piece from its environment, from teachers, from parents, from television etc.
We say that the child is uncontrollable, it is stubborn etc. But we forget to see that this very child is very much going to resort to the same means to get what it wants. Because once you have harshly hit it to get it to behave the way you want.
We are so busy with our daily busy and up to the brim monotonous lives. The daily bread earning has become a war in itself. The travel to and fro office, the great rat race, and the “hearing” of the boss, the ever nagging ever quarreling spouse, packing office & school lunches, etc take a toll on physical health as well as the relationship health that is between you and your child.
We often lose our temper because of the above mentioned issues and consort to harsh means with our spouse, our child and everyone around. Then a feeling of “unwantedness” comes towards the child. You don’t want to have it in your hair at all times.
A child may be small, in stature, in experience, but it understands how you feel about it, seeing your expressions and behaviour towards it every rolling day-in and out.
Whenever I visit the mall or a restaurant, I find parents who are always “hush-hushing” their children, telling it to behave. What they forget is that the child is curious of any new environment and is excited to see many lights, colours and toys, it is a natural phenomenon.
Why, don’t we feel excited when we go for a trip? These things are meant to excite us, bring us out of the monotony of the everyday life – only that we don’t jump like the kids, and are busy clicking pictures on the camera.
I have made an agenda of sorts as to what we need to do. Hopefully I will be able to follow the same as the time flows –
Respect it, so that it respects you back eventually when it is older.
I see certain people whose children always answer them so disrespectfully that they can’t control their tears, not anymore. That is because their children are grown up adults and not little kids who don’t understand the consequences of their actions. See these were the very parents that consorted to harsh methods to discipline their kids.
We see there are some children who have no say in their houses, because of the dominant behaviour of parents, they know parents will be harsh if they don’t obey parents. Eventually, they go into a shell.
But there are some children who are the opposite and resort to rebellious means, in order to have their say, they throw tantrums, they clutter the house, they don’t eat and create a ruckus.
Eventually, both the rebel child and the submissive child behave in their respective rebellious and indecisive ways. The rebel child is attracted to those that can give it the things that it has always yearned for but the submissive child is attracted to anyone who won’t dominate it.
In adulthood the rebel child rebels everyone else’s idea except its own, becomes dominant, and later a bully. The submissive child will fear relationships in the future fearing that it will be dominated once again, it won’t even like someone requesting it for a little favour, relating the request to dominion. The submissive child will always be indecisive, doubting all the time, fearing that it might be disrespected for what it decides. It would in the long run, have an irreparable inferiority complex, low self esteem and low self worth. This will complicate the child’s relationships with others in the future. Again who is responsible for it?
Hence give respect. To expect respect.
Never punish or tempt
Never be harsh, don’t hit, don’t shout, and don’t tempt it by saying that if you sit silently then it can have a chocolate. This temptation will never inculcate the value that you want it to have, it will be worse for you and your child in the long run-you might have to tempt it for just about every action, even studying!
Explain to the child why you want it to behave in a certain way. Give it a valid fool proof explanation. Don’t tell that Santa or the fairy god mother will punish it if it doesn’t obey you.
Always be truthful yourself.
Build in yourself a concerned attitude for your little child
Think how it might be helped so that it grows up to be a fine human being.
Be concerned for your child and other family members, ask it about all day’s school, what it would like to eat, what toy it would want to have. Ask how it likes the animals, the plants, and the sky.
Have interest in him, if you don’t who will?
Don’t force upon it what you want it to become
That’s very selfish. Let it choose its path, all it needs is a little guidance in all its steps. Tell the child of the various career options, where what courses are held etc. Don’t say negative things about any occupation. Always be open to its ideas, try to analyse what likes and dislikes it has, after all he is a different soul. Respect every occupation. Don’t be predictive, or else your child will know what it can and can’t talk with you. Then, comes the turn of the outsiders whom it’ll rely more than you.
Live and let live!!!!!
Remember that your child will grow, into a teenager, then an adult do you want it to treat you with disrespect at home and in public places? Especially for parents with poor anger management- this is for you. Please keep your anger and nagging sealed. That is why many old parents are sent to old age homes, not just due to generation gap or a sense of irresponsibility from the children, but because of many bitter experiences from the parents as children.
A character is sculpted over years and the clay(child) is in the hands of the sculptor’s hands(parents, teachers, etc.). It’s important that we realise that a life so young, and so new, is as fragile and as malleable as clay.
All the virtues positive and negative are sculpted by elders.
Learning by observing
Children learn from observing, much like other mammals. They are going to imitate you. They will reflect your actions and thoughts. So watch out for quarrels, abusive languages, nagging, anger outbursts, anything that you won’t have your child copying in the future. Keep a tab on your child’s friends; explain why certain friends should not be made and the consequences of wrong friends.
Read out moral stories to them and use examples like we use in maths. Keep them protected.
Do yourselves what you want it to do
Stop preaching start practicing. If you tell it to pack its own bag, clean its own room then start cleaning your own closet with the help of your child – it will be ever ready to help out of curiosity.
Then slowly and gradually it will begin to understand that we practice self-help.
If you tell it not to watch television and are yourselves addicted to it, then expect your child to watch it in the sly, and get addicted too. Television is not good for us too, instead adopt a habit of reading, after all books enlighten us, are less harmful to our eyes and mobile, can be carried anywhere anytime.tell your child why TV viewing is harmful and why books are wonderful.buy comics, encyclopedias, and fictional books according to your child’s interest, rather than wasting electricity and straining your eyes.
Read yourselves books that interest you, so that your child learns from you.
Adopt a deeply enlightened concept of unconditional love.
Love is free, freely give it to your child, so that it can become a wonderful loved and loving human being!
I hope that this “roughly ten points agenda” helps me and others to lead a good life. As plan to take up the path of homeschooling for my son, it is doubly important that “I make sure everything he learns is right for him”.