Posts Tagged ‘model’

Teaching is Doing, Not Saying

When I was a school going kid, a hilarious incident happened, that still resonates in my mind. Our home was often visited by spiritual preachers and learned scholars. I remember that one of them used to give examples about how harmful a refrigerator is for one’s health. Once on his visit, when my father asked him why he was not touching upon the topic this time, he smiled and replied that this time he can not say anything against a refrigerator as it won’t leave the same impact because he recently bought one for himself!

 Indeed, the best lessons are taught by doing, not by saying. Whatever vices we have, we cannot condemn in others, least of all in our children. If we are not disciplined, for example, we cannot assume that our lectures of discipline to our children will leave any impact. After reaching my early adulthood now, I can very well see that I have acquired several of my father’s characteristics. We cannot neglect the contribution of genetics but watching and observing certainly influences the psychology and behaviour of children.

I think this concept of observational learning must be the basis of the importance of ‘good company’ which is emphasized by literature and the scholars of the spiritual world. Being a parent and a true friend it is our moral and ethical responsibility to ensure our kids stay in the company that will leave positive influence on them. The thought has to be extended not only to their friends, but also to the question of whether we ourselves are good company for them! Will our children turn out to be responsible, well-balanced individuals while growing up in our company?

 Let us focus on improving the environment (physical surroundings and the range of behaviours) in which our children are living. And for that we will not need to inspect what they are doing; we may rather have to start by introspecting what we are doing!

 Prashant Shori


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We have to guard against being one of those parents who think that they must have control over the lives of their children because they brought them into this world, raised them and gave them all they wanted. Sometimes, without even realizing it, we start exercising control by way of unnecessary suggestions and participation. It is true that children should respect their elders and be grateful for all that has been given to them. But it is also true that parents need to let go of their children after a certain time.

Just like us, children have their mood swings and emotional challenges too. As a result, their behaviour sometimes might be unexpected. Whereas we have to put a check on this kind of behaviour if it starts to develop into a habit, yet at the same time we have to be mindful that on occasional instances,  we might have to ignore it.

Being parents we have to be very careful in determining what to do when such behaviour happens. Sometimes, when left alone for some time when they are upset, children will come back to their normal self themselves. At other times, it is more helpful to keep a close watch without appearing to be interfering.

 The best way is to model a stress-free life. A relaxed, free-minded person is usually receptive of other people’s thoughts and feelings and helps maintain a calm atmosphere.

 We have no control over anyone’s life, but we can surely be an exemplary model that we want our children to be. What we do for them is our duty – one of the most important duties of our life. But what they do is what we need to accept. Once we have ensured that our children have become independent thinkers and can take decisions for themselves, we have to step out. They are not our subordinates or an object in our possession; they are our children, our ‘second self’ and in fact, a better ‘us’!

Cartoon taken from Mike Moore's http://speakerman1.blogspot.com/

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