OUR CHILDREN & THEIR UPBRINGING
The other day, I was hugely surprised when I heard the abusive language being hurled by a five year child while he was talking to his sister aged seven years. This put me in enormous quandary as to where our small kids are heading as far as use of refined and polished language is concerned. We may ignore it, thinking that such a use of language is merely by small kids who does not even understand the meaning of foul language he is uttering. But, doubtlessly, if this stance just continues and we may remain thinking that these are the actions of a small kids then one day these actions of theirs may go too far. As they grow up their use of language will also grow uglier, if not nipped in the bud. It is due to the fact that these kids will grow up to be spoiler of relationship by pitting one person against another by the use of soiled language and unethical and unsavory behavior. In Bible it has rightly been said: ‘Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.’ I am of the view that this sagacious advice should be followed by all parents.
RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PARENTS
The parents are squarely responsible for the above lapse. They must be using foul language while quarreling or arguing with each other and the kid must be around and picked up this language. Or there is a possibility of boy must have picked up this language from his fellow class mates or any other sources. Sources of picking up the foul language may be any but it is a matter of grave concern that our kids are being fed with wrong words and phrases. If indeed there is a problem of the most impressionable small kids picking up the foul language, then, solution is not far to seek, the parents should desist from using dirty language in their heated arguments while their children are around.
FOUNDATION OF CHILDREN’S RIGHT ATTITUDE & BEHAVIOR PATTERN STARTS AT EARLY CHILDHOOD
In essence, we should always keep in mind the empirical truth that the foundation of a person (ethical and moral standpoints) starts from the early childhood. It is relevant to mention a case in point experienced by me. While picking up my four year old grandson from his school, he wanted to go to toilet for easing himself, but so much pressure he was having that he peed on the playing ground itself despite my insistence of not doing so. I did not scold him then and there since other students of his class were also there. But when I was bringing him back home, I made him realize his mistake in most gentle way. He promised me that he will go for nature’s call whenever he felt the need of it. This advice had a desired effect and he did not act like this thereafter. Also, whenever he feels pressure, he himself goes to the toilet for easing himself. Similar is the case with use of language and other etiquette. Whenever he behaves abnormally, we are always there to mend his ways and guide him for adopting the right course of action without much fuss. One thing I have learned while dealing with him is the need to say ‘SORRY’ whenever required.
It is our duty, as parents, as grandparents etc to raise our children in a way considered appropriate taking into consideration our situations and conditions in which we are placed. If we do not act whenever it is optimally required that means we are in for trouble later on if we do not ‘nip the evil in the bud’. We may have to repent and we would realize that we have already missed the bus as far as rectifying the behavior of our children is concerned since inappropriate habits, attitudes and modes of behavior have made a permanent residency in their psyche. This may become a cause of grave concern and worry, giving birth to various social anxieties, apprehensions of worst order for our grown up children since whenever somebody brings forth or tells us about demeaning demeanor of our grown up children we, naturally repent our folly of not intervening when it was hugely required. In Guru Granth Sahib it has been said: He alone is a householder, who restrains his passions. The parents, therefore, should be tolerant and patients while transforming the behavior pattern of their offspring.
It is also relevant to mention here the case in point of a 10th standard girl student. She used to devote less time in studies and more time in surfing the internet and chatting with her friends due to which she could not pass her Pre-Board Examination. The head of the institution called the parents for such a dismal result of their ward. The following inappropriate behavior pattern was found:-
TIME SHOULD BE USED JUDICIOUSLY
The student used to waste her time in gossiping with her friends on her mobile phone for hours together. The time she wasted in chatting with her friend could have been utilized productively by studying at home – the lessons which were taught to her in the class room.
INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR PATTERN AND ATTITUDE & FAULT OF PARENTS NOT TO HAVE GIVEN HER QUALITY TIME
Her parents informed that she ignores any guidance given to her and have become quite stubborn and no amount of suggestion or advice could help her. Her parents were advised to take the help of a competent psychologist so that there is modicum of improvement in her behavior. She was also counseled by the institution’s counselor.
We could understand the predicament of the parents whose only child is experiencing extreme upheavals in her life. When asked why they did not take care of their daughter after her early childhood. Their answer was that both of them were busy in their respective jobs and that is why they could not give quality time to her when it was most needed.
GIVING ALL THE COMFORTS OF LIFE
The parents were overwhelmed with so much emotional upsurge that they voluntarily reeled out their side of the story. They provided her with every comforts, everything which she asked even after limiting their own needs as parents. They had provided her laptop, costly mobile, motor bike and fulfilled all the needs which she insisted. It was evident that in their zeal to fulfill her unfettered desires, they had provided her with everything in order to showcase her position to her friends.
I am sanguine, this was the fault of the parents. We should not fulfill all the desires of our children (rational or irrational). They should be told how hard it is work and earn an honest living – getting up early in the morning, reach the workplace after commuting several miles, sometimes getting wet in the rain and sometimes in the hot sun. in other words, the children should be told to inculcate the spirit of working hard from early childhood itself. Whenever any demand of theirs is to be fulfilled, they should be given a task or a goal to be fructified. By so doing, they will know the importance of not only how best to utilize their ‘time’ but also learn how much of difficulty it entails to earn a something!
TIMELY ACTION ACTS AS A PANACEA
There upon I was reminded of the saying: ‘A stitch in time saves nine’, ‘Time waits for no man. It also reminded me of an analogy; if the sapling of a plant is not watered and cared properly, is kept without sunlight and fresh air, it does not grow to be a healthy tree which may give you sweet fruits! Similar is the case with our children. If they are not brought up properly, then, they will grow up to be people with flawed dispositions.
MAINTAINING DISCIPLINE – FORMATION OF GOOD HABITS AND ATTITUDES
In our schools, the students should be taught how to form such habits and attitudes which are in tune with good ethical and moral traits. I realized this significance when the head of our institution wanted the list of the habitual offenders; those who are in the habit of using fou and abusive/intemperate language, not observing and sticking to norms of behavior set by the institute for the students, etc.
After identifying the problem students, it is the responsibility of the schools and the parents to devise ways and means to work out a plan of action for rectifying the behavior pattern of such students. With this scenario in mind, the parents of such students were called for a meeting and the purpose behind such a meeting was discussed so as to understand the psyche of such students, infuse positive habits, behavior and attitude. The purpose is to refine such students so as to make them disciplined ones so that their habits, behavior and attitude get transformed positively which will help them sail through the boat of their lives without much trouble even in troubled waters.
Following were the lessons learned:-
1. Never ignore the unreasonable behavior and attitude of the students. The parents should see it as an obligatory duty to refine their children from the childhood itself. In Bhagwad Gita it has been very effectively stressed: Perform your obligatory duty, because action is indeed better than inaction.
2. It has been observed that when the latent energies of the students are not taped properly then they will utilize the same in following some negative pursuits. This could be done partly through appreciation and partly through slight criticism: In Bible it has been opined : Through praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence foe and the avenger.
3. It has been seen that partly the parents are responsible for the unethical behavior of their progenies rather than giving them the quality time their devious actions are glossed over then problem creeps in.
4. The children should be given quality time by the parents so that they are given not only the value system but also the traditional mores besides how best to adjust in the environment in which they are living.
5. When the parents show helplessness then it is in the fitness of things to apprise the school counselors to set things right for their offspring.
7. The parents have to be Karma Yogis but without any expectations from their progenies then and only then they can refine the behaviour of their wards for attainments of their goals in life. This would be in line with Bhagwad Gitas wisdom: A Karma-yogi performs action by body, mind, intellect, and senses, without attachment (or ego).
6. The parents and the teachers can streamline the behavior pattern of their students in a meaningful way by giving them appreciation and punishment when felt necessary.
7. It has been observed that those children who are obstinate and hard nut to crack, they could be made the real doers if their latent energies are channeled in right spirit by assigning/entrusting them the responsibilities and trusting them. If they fail to perform, it is OK, they had tried and failed, we can give them the second chance. If they have succeeded, it is the success of our trust reposed on them. In this Bhagwad Gita’s truth prevails: Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.