Dr. Sarita Bhargava – Pediatrician.
Qualified PALS by Indian Academy of Pediatrics.
Author of a very popular book ‘Your Precious Gem & You’.
Parents teach their children what they think is best for them according to the existing environmental conditions , culture and their jobs .People living in underdeveloped areas in India as the Aadivasis and hunters teach their children the use of respective tools and weapons so that they can protect themselves and earn their livelihood. Agriculturists ,farmers and horticulturists teach the young ones digging and picking out weeds . As the children grow older they are supposed to help in the fields and learn to plough , sow seeds , water the fields and finally pick up the ripe crops. Children are also taught to fetch water from the wells as there are no pipe lines in the rural areas .These activities enable the children to know the survival skills required for livelihood .Parents who are doing jobs and living in cities are diverted more towards academic achievements , therefore like the people in the Western countries they start reading to the children from infancy so that their intellectual capabilities can develop. Italian parents want their children to be socially and emotionally competent.They encourage the children to ask questions and answering the questions give them satisfaction.
Social skills are developed by taking the children out in the neighborhood where they are allowed to interact and play with other children .The parks are a good place to play , enjoy and learn .A park playground allows the children to run and play throwing and catching games .These games help in developing social and physical skills . Swings , slides and see saws help in increasing co-ordination . Children enjoy watching the animals and birds . They admire the scenic views and the different flowers and plants present there . Children enjoy watching the ducks and rabbits present in the park , running after the butterflies and catching them .Children learn a lot about the domestic animals , frequently seen birds and the flowering plants in the gardens by their garden tours . They remember them and can identify them when shown in the books .In later years, teaching various shapes of leaves , different kinds of flowers , variations in colours can all be taught through outdoor activity .
Children acquire habits by observing their family members and teachers .To move in the society properly parents and teachers should instill positive moral values . Commonly identified positive values are integrity , honesty , responsibility , equality and social justice , caring and restraint. Girls are seen to have higher positive values of caring and responsibility as compared to their male counterparts .Researchers are of the opinion that children having the above positive values show positive behavior , have better thinking ,problem solving and conflict resolution skills .They are able to make friends who also have good values and achieve high grades in school. Teaching kids to help other persons or support other children are positive values . Parents have simply to lay the foundation and the children will build values themselves.
Positive values are standards of social principles that are accepted by an individual, family , group or society . They are classified into two groups—1. Prosocial values include caring, equality and social justice.2. Personal character values include honesty , integrity , responsibility and restraint . Parents help children in developing these values by
- Modeling – The child copies the acts of his parents . Parents take the children along with them to help needy persons by giving warm clothes to poor shivering people in the shelter homes ,or giving food to road side beggars .Children also accompany the parents on special days to the hospitals and distribute fruits to the patients . Help is also extended in the form of medicines .The children easily copy these acts and retain them in their minds to act in later life . They believe in telling the truth to the children about any untoward happening in the home , rather than hiding the facts from the children. They will not ask the children to attend the call bells or the telephones for denying their presence in the house .This develops the habit ofalways speaking the truth.
- Telling about these values repeatedly over and over again encourages children and help them to become responsible. The kids should be involved in the household chores and assigned the responsibility of completing them .Children feel valued by this simple act and become confident after completing it .Chores are assigned to all family members . They can be rotated after some time for example a child who had been helping to lay the table on rotation may be asked to do the cleaning of the room or collecting the laundry clothes of all members into the laundry bag .With caring supervision the kids become responsible and come to know that this value is an excellent one. Girls in the family develop this value quite easily .
- Promoting equality and justice : Equality and social justice include racial equality meaning all groups of the society are equal , they have similar rights to play and work .The children should be taken to the multicultural events as the Ganesh Chaturthi and Durga Puja celebrations which mainly depict the Maharashtran and Bengali cultures respectively .Lohari and Baisakhi are celebrated with great enthusiasm in Punjab, whereas Diwali and Holi are practically celebrated throughout the country in India .Regional differences exist in the manner of celebrating the festivals .Children learn a lot about the various cultures by attending such celebrations .They should be taught to consider all their colleagues equal irrespective of their caste and social standing.
As a family you should find out the organizations rendering services to the needy people in form of clothes , food , medicines etc. The child should be taught to help the needy at the individual level . He should interact equally with all his peers in school without any discrimination on the basis of caste or economical grounds. The child will be treated by the others in the same manner as he treats them. Always remind your child that he also can be the needy person any day therefore he should always have a positive attitude of helping .
- Honesty: Teach your child to be honest .Having a warm loving and safe environment at home makes the kid approach the family in any difficult situation .The children admit the mistakes honestly when they know that they will be heard well and responded. The parent should respond with care when the child admits his fault. They should not be told to shut up but are to be dealt tactfully. Children learn a lot about honesty from the parents. They hear the lies which the parent speaks on a phone or to a salesman to get rid of him .At times when you do not want to meet a person you ask your child to reply to the door bell ringer saying that you are not at home. This is to be avoided .Teach them that lying is not good as people will not trust them once they are caught lying .Praise your kids when they are honest with you even if you get very annoyed after what they have spoken to you. Kids can be dishonest with friends , parents , teachers ,and sibs at school , home and playgrounds for various reasons. Teach them that being honest is the right approach even if it gets them in trouble eg . admitting to the teacher that he has copied from his friend in the examination , knowing that he will be punished for cheating .You should be able to show through your actions that telling the truth is always the best decision. The children should not be threatened for coming out with the truth .
- Integrity—Teach your child to stand up for her own beliefs and values. Learning integrity may take a long time ,continuous practice to stand on your beliefs will develop this crucial value . You should tell your child about the role models with integrity whom you admire as Mahatma Gandhi ,Mother Teresa and many more. Narrate to the children the lives of these persons and how they lead a life of integrity. Support kids when they do the right thing especially when it is difficult eg. child admitting copying in the examination. Convince the children about the notion that their values are tested only when they stand up for themselves in times of adversity. Encourage your children to have integrity and set a good example by standing on your own beliefs when it is tough.
- Caring—The children should learn to help other people. They should be taught to care about themselves and care about others .This can be taught to them by caring for a pet dog at home .The child should be encouraged to act fast on the impulse of helping a person who is in difficulty .The child should be taught to respect and help the elderly people in crossing the road and they can alsos render help by carrying their baggage. Visit the patients in the hospitals with the child and render services according to their requirement .You can provide fruits , or medicines as per requirement . At times the poor are not able to afford the investigations or the treatment , here you can render financial help. Assist in times of disasters or calamities through a family effort so that the child comes to know the ways of caring. To develop this value in your child you may have to change your lifestyle and become more caring. Thus you will become a perfect role model for the child and the child will develop this value readily as he is observing all your acts.
- Restraint—Parents should teach children at an early age that that they should not consume alcohol, tobacco, drugs or be sexually active. Again you have to be a role model, and this can be done by not taking alcohol or consuming it within limits. You should behave properly and not use drugs. You can narrate your own experiences of exercising restraint when you were of their age and how this value helped you in life. The parent can also narrate the incidents due to which he landed in trouble . Teach the children to deal with setbacks and difficulties in positive ways. Many youngsters try to overcome the setbacks by consuming alcohol . Suggest the other positive ways for overcoming the stress as going out for a brisk walk , listening music or playing a musical instrument of his choice .If he is not interested in doing any of these , he can have a gossip with any family member. Children who practice restraint do not get involved in risky behaviour and reckless driving. They manage to keep themselves away from trouble at present and will also manage their future life successfully. They should organize and plan their daily activity schedule as doing the home work , playing and watching the television and also plan out activities for the family. You can teach them to be organized by being punctual in your job duties , paying of household bills , doing household chores and workouts regularly.
Parenting is not always about teaching the child about the do’s and dont’s .Parents should learn the art of being happy from their toddlers .These children involve the parent to play with them.
The parent enjoys the moments of fun when the child rides on him asking him to act like a horse. The child crawls and run about the house with the parent following him .The only thing which a parent should give to the child is abundant love , provide care and support and teach him a few basics of life required by him for surviving. The child should be allowed to grow by using his own intelligence. Parenting becomes a difficult task when the parents desire that the child should grow according to their wish .Let the child enjoy his BACHPAN and do not try to pressurize him with the burden of going to school carrying the heavy bag on his back . The main thing which a parent should adopt while raising a child is LEARN TO BE HAPPY. Your personality should be such that it always attracts the child. It is truly said that” the true wealth of the family is the responsive nurturing of children which will enrich the society with confident high esteemed adolescents”. Sadhguru has rightly said that “ a child is a privilege ,this bundle of joy has come through you ,nurture him with love and support.”