Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, and though they are with you yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, But seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
Parenting Power to you
A lot of times it would be worth checking if it is the peer pressure working on you rather than your kids. Do we often let children go for that movie just because all other children are going, buy a mobile just because all other parents are allowing? Allow them the sleep over just because all other parents have allowed? Remember, the child must realise that he comes from a family that has its own set of values and should be proud and comfortable to live by them. When the child sees you not succumbing to peer pressure, he knows how to stick his neck out when peer pressure gets to him. Or else , you might be worried for life, watching out for his peers and for societal trends that can sweep your little one anywhere anytime.
Our subconscious mind is like a sponge; it soaks in everything. Therefore everything we see, hear, watch and taste remains ingrained in our subconscious mind , whether the conscious mind is aware or not. In any given situation that memory springs forth and makes us act. It is therefore recommended intensely by modern psychologists as well as the ancient scriptures that we expose ourselves, as well as our children to positive thoughts, positive words, positive ideas, and positive sights as far as possible. These days children watch all kinds of filth on television which is often thoughtlessly switched on in many a household providing a background track. Children are registering violence, anger, hatred, lust, greed, criticism, condemnation and arrogance on television unquestionably yet most unconsciously. Movie shows, flimsy film or fashion magazines, all are sources of negative influence if not monitored appropriately.
Every time your baby falls don’t beat the ground; it had nothing to do with the fall. Teach the child to be more careful next time. We miss the train and begin to blame the traffic. This attitude when watched , learnt and imbibed by the child leads him/her to blame friends for the unnecessary punishment he got in class, blame the teacher for too much homework and not himself for too much TV, blame the school for shortage of time and not himself for procrastinating. Such children grow up to be individuals who find problems with everything and everyone around , because they have never learnt to point the finger at themselves.
As Khalil Gibran puts it beautifully, ‘your children are not yours’.
It is not your job to control their lives, because you definitely do not and cannot even fully control yours. However, you are here to do your duty as good parents and so you do. The results, the outcomes, the destiny and design is in the hands of the child himself and the Father supreme. So wherever you can’t, just pray. Pray for your child and support him; care for him but do not push or fix him.
There are always situations and questions in life for which you may have no answer. There are always times and situations where no one can help and one must be alone, go alone or experience loneliness. It is in these times and even otherwise when faith in God can be the only saving force for a child. A child who believes in the companionship of the Lord is never alone. A child who believes in the unconditional love of the Lord never feels unwanted. A child who believes in the power of the Lord is never helpless. A child who believes in the presence of Lord will never go wrong. A child with faith in God never loses hope in life whether you are there to console and motivate him/ her or not.
A play station, a mobile phone, a new toy, a laptop… ensure that your children do not measure your love in these things. Very often parents succumb to emotional blackmail and buy children the tools for distraction and destruction, themselves inviting trouble home in the first place. The school office is then flooded with parents requesting teachers or counsellors to suggest ways to help their child get rid of the play station or computer games addiction.
Think about it; who gave them the access in the first place?? Love means spending time together, accepting their weaknesses as happily as their strengths . Love is spending time together. Love is respecting their opinion.
You cannot teach values to your child only by preaching to him. He must see the values in action; he must watch you living by your values. A child cannot respect his elders if he sees you criticising yours. He cannot learn responsibility if he sees you shirking your duty. He cannot learn honesty if he watches you cheat. He cannot learn to respect rules if he sees you breaking them at every traffic light. He cannot grow up to be polite if he watches you yell and scream.
Be careful of what you do; your children are always watching you.
Abstain from comparing your child with others. Discourage others from doing so too. It is important to realise that as we most unconsciously compare one sibling to the other we are generating amongst children, feelings of jealousy, complexes and a host of other negative stressors. Always compare each child to his/her previous best. Appreciate them if they did better than they did last time. Display disappointment if you see them slipping down from their personal best. If you can live with that attitude as a family, you will give out to the world individuals who can celebrate others success and handle their defeats just as gracefully .
These days, as aware and sensitive parents, we very rightly have started respecting children. However an imbalance is reached when the child gets used to being respected but has never learnt to respect others just as unconditionally. Teach your child to greet elders respectfully, offer a seat, speak politely in their presence, offer food while eating, be the first one to get up and help when in a group.
Genuine respect can not be taught if the child hears parents mocking or criticising the other elders in their life whether it is the neighbour, a family friend, a grandparent, an uncle , an aunt, a teacher or a Principal. Therefore, to raise a respectful child, be respectful at all times.
Reading, writing, arithmetic and for that matter even the general knowledge and all the understanding of the world just forms a small part of the wisdom required to live a successful and meaningful life. As parents we spend far too much time trying to be a substitute teacher, stressing too much on school work and grades. While that surely is the prime business of every child’s life at this stage, yet parents must stay focused on giving them a disciplined view of life, instilling sound habits right from the right time to get up and right time to sleep, a place to keep everything and everything in its place, exercising restraint and self control, making less pleasant but more healthy choices (sticking to the homemade lentils and not succumb to temptation of ordering a Pizza); the way you treat your guest and the way you spend your free time. The things you say when you are alone and the way you approach your work, these are the most valuable lessons your child is learning from you. These will form his attitude and beliefs that he/she will carry with him for a lifetime. Pay attention to these.
Reward accomplishments in these areas as much as you do their grades. A topper who is arrogant, lazy and disrespectful is worth nothing compared to a mediocre student who is respectful, positive, hardworking and eager.
Build their EQ and SQ and do all that you can for those areas as they can best be built at home by watching over them and catching them, as you demonstrate them in action from day to day.