MADHUSUDAN REDDY is passionate about the future of the children of India, and urges parents to take the time to love and shape them so that the whole country may benefit.
India has such an ancient tradition of respecting elders, parents, and teachers. But unfortunately, we are now witnessing a situation contrary to that culture. The reason is our own neglect. A famous quote says, “It’s easier to bend a plant than a tree,” which means something that cannot be bent in the budding stage can never be bent. Parents and carers have the role of teaching their children values, like respecting elders, cooperation, aptitude toward learning, maintaining discipline and peace from early childhood, but it requires time and patience.
Parents and carers have the role of
teaching their children values,
but it requires time and patience.
Today, parents find it hard to spend 4 to 5 hours a day with their children, so the children feel alone. As a result, they are drawn to many enticements and unwanted cravings. Then, parents also suffer. In contrast, what happens when parents give their children what is good for them? What happens when they support them in all matters and provide guidance and advice?
Let me tell you a story. A couple went to Taj Hotel with their daughter for lunch. They ordered vegetable soup for her, but when the soup arrived the girl said to her mother, “Mom, I can’t drink this soup.” Her mother called the waiter and requested him to bring mushroom soup instead. The waiter brought the mushroom soup but the girl said that she couldn’t drink that either.
The girl’s parents chided her harshly. The girl was sobbing and said, “The soup is very hot, how can I drink it without a spoon?” The parents had scolded her without understanding her difficulty, and the reason was lack of communication. No matter how small the problem, if children learn to open their hearts and talk, they can successfully solve many problems in life.
An English child says, “I can achieve anything.” An American child and a European child say the same. Can our Indian children say the same? Even the parents of our children can’t say that. In other parts of the world, parents instill confidence in children from the beginning. It can be said we do not have that here.
Parents have a great psychological influence on their children. What happens when they rebuke them, pointing out that they are not good at studies, they are they are not coming first? From childhood, parents, carers, and teachers confine their minds to a limited sphere by saying “you can’t do this, you can’t do that,” so enthusiasm melts away. Not every student can secure first place. Does it make the others worthless or insignificant? Children may prosper in many areas.
So look to your children’s talents and skills. They may not all do extremely well in studies, but they may become good artists, singers, poets, sportsmen, or politicians. Guide your children in the direction where their interest lies. Explain to them gently. If you think their direction is not correct, also speak gently so they understand you better. Then let them decide. The world’s greatest intellectuals like Einstein and Thomas Alva Edison were expelled from school. Everyone can do something creative – that is the secret of our creation.
Many parents spend large amounts of money for their children’s education, anticipating a bright future. Do they also attempt to know what habits their children are adopting while studying? Ninety percent of parents fail in this.
At first, habits are delicate like a spider’s web. As time passes, these habits bind us like iron fencing and steel ropes. So, it helps to inculcate good habits from childhood. To nurture them, parents must also follow them. Personal and social cleanliness, discipline, punctuality, working with a sense of cooperation, respect for elders, kindness and humility in behavior are some of the fine qualities to be adopted from childhood. Mostly, it is parents’ responsibility to inculcate these in their children. In Japan, some institutes are also taking the responsibility, giving proper training from childhood to produce good citizens. Schools there are also traveling on the same path.
Today, many people think that intelligence and virtues are inherited, and that without them it is impossible to achieve success in any field. Knowingly or unknowingly, parents and teachers plant such ideas in the minds of children. Truth be told, children brought up under the guidance of the best teachers can reach a high level in any field. And the best teachers aren’t those who possess doctorate degrees or awards. It is enough that they love as a mother loves and understand the subject. If a teacher gets angry and blames the students for every little thing, what will be the future of those children? Today, 70 percent of teachers take good care of students who flourish well in their studies and ignore those who are lagging behind. The foundation of a child’s future is not stable when it is built with such insecure bricks. It is better to develop the talent of each child in their specific field.
Many parents feel their responsibility is over when their children start school. Sometimes they shower love and give money when it is asked for, without asking why that money is required. Sometimes they get angry and do not help their children. Some parents compare their children with others and belittle them for falling behind, damaging their self-confidence. The behavior of parents is perplexing for children and has a strange effect on their minds. Gandhiji said, “There is no school equal to a good home and no teacher equal to a virtuous parent.”
Appreciating and rewarding good work are good traditions, but showing love to children does not mean letting them behave as they like. Restraint is essential in the process of shaping children. When they are disciplined for their mistakes, they will realize those cautions are for their good, and will not be dissatisfied with the way they are treated. Parents need not be too strict nor too lenient, avoiding extremes.
We see envious behavior in children now and then. If a mother appreciates one child, the other feels jealous. So, when parents give everything on an impartial basis, be it food, love, or care, their children will feel happy.
When parents show a loving and empathetic attitude, and become worthy of admiration, children imitate them. Children are full of potential to channel their inner capacity in the right direction according to the love and moral guidance given to them by their elders.
Children are full of potential
to channel their inner capacity
in the right direction according to
the love and moral guidance
given to them by their elders.
A mother’s love is extremely important for the healthy emotional development of her children. Among those who observed this was René Spitz. He brought to light the death of 34 children in an orphanage, explaining that “The children have all the facilities they need, except a mother’s love.”
Today, children develop a lot of mindsets and values from movies and TV serials. If the parents are viewing the TV, the children will follow suit. It is not that everything on the screen is bad, but experience shows that it fails to bring about a desired change in people.
The tender hearts of children are like fragile seeds. It is the responsibility of parents and teachers to see such tender hearts blossom like jasmine. And the development of any country depends on the strength of its youth. So think about your children and spend time with them.