Sitting amongst a group of pre-schoolers in a garden, I was enjoying an evening of games, giggles and smiles. Amidst all this merry-making, I saw a child run to her mum, crying over something while pointing to another child. Her mom stood up instantly, yelling out loud “don’t talk to her if she is hurting you”. Needless to say, the little girl returned to the group doing as instructed by her mom.
With so much going on in our lives, it is understandable to resort to means which require lesser thought and effort in resolving a ‘situation’ amongst children. Our spontaneous response to situations and incidences that may serve as a momentary quick-fix, often deprives our child of some really valuable lessons that are much needed for their journey of life.
Every time you child expresses unhappiness/demands unreasonably/acts uncooperative/complains, it is a golden opportunity for him/her to be introduced to the most important and lasting lessons of life.
RESPECT & HUMILITY
Be it a judge or a janitor, respect for all is a must! Be it roles, religions, races, sexes, ideas, or lifestyles, forbid him/her from despising & belittling people, and humbly interacting with all. Humility seeds respect and respect nurtures a good human being. Be a role model for your child enabling him to reflect these values. The use of simple words such as “thank you / sorry / please”, etc. go a long way in making your child a respected citizen.
COMPASSION & GRATITUDE
Be me mindful of one’s blessings is one of the greatest source of joy! Be it toys, clothes, books, chocolates, a healthy body or anything else, speak to your child about his/her blessings on a daily basis. Encourage them to empower/help other lesser fortunate with skills/games/languages that they have mastered. Nurture a sense of responsibility and gratefulness amongst them.
Kindness is contagious. It makes the world around us beautiful. Let your child experience the joy of giving a pleasant experience to others. Teach them that happiness comes from doing little acts of kindness. The best way inculcate this is by practicing kindness towards other humans/animals/plants collectively as a family.
Sharing is not very easy for young children. Encouraging sharing things within the family/friends on a daily basis and then gradually expanding this to peers and others makes the child experience what is caring for others and being cared for in-return.
Honesty builds emotional strength and paves a way for a strong character. Honesty cannot be imbibed with just words. You got to live a lifestyle that lays emphasis on honesty more than punishment. Your child can be brave to tell the truth when he/she doesn’t fear you or punishments. Build trust with your child, be amicable, praise truth telling and show that lying doesn’t make them any less accountable for their bad behaviour or deed.
Think through good parenting, it is the personality of parents that work on the children, which make children fond of them more than anything else. The way you treat your child is only your admission to raise him/her right! Ethics & morals, like every other thing, is a habit that can be formed with practice. One of the practical way to learn morals is to choose one attribute at a time and discuss with your children. Discuss the importance of that particular attribute, narrate stories related to it and practice it together.
Depriving our children of moral values affects not their attitude as growing individuals, but the world around us on the whole. Let’s give the world a better tomorrow!