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Modern Values for Kids

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Values are often confused with moral conduct of behavior. Here are some modern values which can help children elevate their consciousness and grow into more aware beings.

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Being Religious v/s Being Spiritual:  Today, a lot of kids are not too keen about going shrines or religious discourses; however fascinating mythological tales may be, they are still esoteric in content and difficult for children to grasp.  Religions can be very dogmatic and binding i.e. demand the follower to live by certain rules and within certain boundaries of moral conduct.  Being spiritual gives kids more freedom of choice to find for themselves which ideals and concepts fit into their life and are aligned with their higher self. Being spiritual, atheist, agnostic is again a matter of choice and the idea is to allow a child the freedom of expression and not label them as moral/immoral, good/bad based on that. Being spiritual thus simply implies being in touch with their higher self which can be based on qualities of truth, authenticity, compassion, service to others and so on.

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Awareness & Apathy: Narcissism has crept into the modern lifestyle and largely so because of the societal pressure. Following a certain code of conduct to fit into a “good child” label is too tasking. Also, the new age education system has become so demanding that it often isolates a child from what’s happening in real world. At times, they get so bogged down by these pressures that they just ‘don’t care.’ This provokes apathetic responsiveness towards others by them. We need to instill values of compassion such that they can just be aware and reflect on it so that next time they will be ‘actively compassionate’ and not just bystanders to someone’s pain or discomfort.

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Acceptance: Acceptance is an attitude of complete non-judgement. Bullying and ragging are common in school/college life and a child can get socially anxious or awkward for being ridiculed or not fitting in with their peers. It’s essential to help a child develop an attitude of ‘acceptance’ i.e. accepting those different from you, befriend or just get to know people from various walks of life. This will help them in adapting to different cultures, conditions, classes and work environments in later life. Also if differences or dislike does creep in towards someone and they cannot be comfortable with, they could simply be and let the other be. They can avoid being judgmental or label others solely on their individual experience of incompatibility and should keep respectful boundaries to maintain harmony.
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Dignity for All: Every specie on the planet is essential for ‘balance’ and deserves to be treated with dignity. Make a child aware how we are all connected to plants, animals, birds, cosmic energies and how each of these are precious and beautiful in their own way.  Caring for the environment is a very rewarding experience as it makes a child compassionate. Going green in simple ways like recycling used paper, donating toys, minimizing plastic use, saving water, planting trees can keep them rooted and connected to the society at large.

Which are some of your values that help you live in harmony and adapt to those around you? Share the values you want to pass on to your kids and get featured on the blog.

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Encourage Children to Evolve

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A child brings immense joy, spontaneity and unconditional love to the lives of those around them. At times, though they need encouragement and gentle reminders to be able to evolve at every stage of growth. Here are some simple ways in which parents can help them evolve.

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Naturally Nice: Kids are naturally nice and empathetic, often reaching out to those around them with hugs and compassion. Don’t mistake their mischief or playfulness for a bad attitude or stubbornness as they are just following their natural instincts to explore whatever’s around them. Avoid calling them ‘brat’ or ‘bad boy/girl’ as they could become like that just to rebel or prove something to you. Bring them into awareness if you feel your kid is going overboard or just not ready to listen or hurting someone by being too daft. It’s probably rooted in fear of losing identity and need for constant attention, so allow your child to be vulnerable and express it to you without any hesitation – heart-to-heart communication goes a long way.

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Being Accepting to be Accepted: At times children give into the moment and may put someone else down out of fun, peer pressure or just envy of perceived notions of someone being superior or having better things than them. Make them understand that calling someone names or labeling them is ‘not cool’ even if he’s part of a group of friends who are doing this. Help your child see the big picture – realize that everyone’s unique and beautiful in their own way irrespective of how they look, weigh, own materially or marks they get in their report cards. Accept others without mocking their peculiarity as they could be in their place someday and also forgive those who’ve wronged them as mistakes are human nature.

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Gentle Reminders:  Sit with your kid for a few minutes when they are mentally alert and in a mood to listen ( preferably morning) and gently remind them that they are inherently good-hearted and sweet and reaching out to someone else is a reflection of who they are.  Avoid being too preachy and don’t make it a lecture in moral science as children get bored and see it as criticism for self. Share wisdom once a while without making it a rule to be followed; for instance, a quote like “If you haven’t got anything nice to say about someone, don’t say anything at all.”

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Being Empty: Scientifically, it’s healthy to be empty atleast mentally before going to bed, so talk to your kid before bedtime, and listen to their stories of how they spent their day. As they grow up, ask them to keep a diary or color pictures, create something with paper or dough, as this could help them vent everything healthily. If your child gets angry easily or throws too many tantrums out of excess energy or for seeking attention, ask him to pick a sport to be able to channel it out in a constructive manner. Emptiness creates space for a child to be spontaneous and happy and spread that happiness around them every time.

Which are some of the ways you help your child just be aware and evolve? Share your story with us and get featured on the blog.