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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Children are too young to understand why they are lying. Similarly, teens could lie to keep secrets. Here are some ways with which you could deal with a child’s lying behavior.
Identify the Behavior: Parents often discover a little late about a child’s lying behavior and the reasons for this is many. It’s tough as little children especially toddlers and older kids between 3-9 years are very impressionable and often in their own sweet make-believe world. Many times little kids don’t even know when they are talking to themselves or to a parent. At times kids lie just to escape responsibility, to rebel or just to save face from shame and from harsh punishment imposed by very strict parents. Kids also lie to gain attention and favoritism i.e. want to be teacher’s pet or be parents most loved among siblings and put up a front of good behavior. Teens often lie to keep certain emotional matters and “friendships” private as they often find it easier to confide in peers.
Imaginary Friends & Story-telling: Kids often have imaginary friends and use their names to shift blame. The lie or ‘story’ could be something they heard or saw in a cartoon or at school and are just acting it out in real life. They often do this out of fear of ridicule or create fake scenarios and fabricate truth as it’s easier to digest. Lies are often child’s wishes and fantasies which they want to come true as they often can’t cope with school work or are very emotionally needy and need extra attention from home. An alternate reality becomes an easy escape with which they express themselves. Often children learn this tendency from parents who use lies to get away with unpleasant people/situations. For instance; avoid phone-calls from visiting guests as they are tired or not in the mood to socialize. Children could also just be following suit to match up to their parents’ and peers standards.
Ways to Transform: Gently/humorously catch them in the act and like a friend explain right/wrong behaviour. Avoid being religious/dramatic about it as a child is still adapting to the world and needs time and nurturing to fully understand what’s going on. Explain to your kid that truth resolves conflict and builds trust between people and to speak it without being blunt viz; ” If you can’t say something nice about something or someone, say nothing at all. Replace fearful feelings with love and courage to be oneself and praise child’s individuality. Allow them space to express oneself w/out hesitation and as parents avoid keeping something taboo/restricted and let children choose wisely for themselves. A certain level of privacy for teens is essential as they are going through a transition of physical, mental, emotional changes. Allow them time to open up to you and a friendly approach could help to communicate better. As an exercise for kids of all ages, a way to transform lying behaviour is to ask them to write confessional/apology letters and bury them away as a release. If matters worsen ask them to apologize for wrongdoing as it’s a sign of maturity and responsibility for one’s behaviour.
Which are some of your observations about your child’s lying behavior? Share your views with us and get featured on the blog.
Choosing to communicate positively is effective for building a harmonious parent-child relationship. Here are some way in which you could develop your skills.
Playing in Co-operation & Harmony: We are social animals and a child can’t play or enjoy alone. To be able to live their growing up years to the fullest, kids usually form a group of friends. A group dynamic demands cooperation and respect for differences, and in times of dis-harmony you could start off by helping your kid see another child as a reflection or extension of self. Gradually, this process enhances their empathy and compassion for every person they meet.
Bullying v/s Bonding: Kids bully at times to assert individuality & power, gain attention, or be leaders in the given situation. This is natural as kids can be very passionate and stubborn at times to just be heard or seen. As a parent you can rectify this behavior by being with your little one and talk to him about different ways in which they can bond with others and reach out to them. If your kid starts throwing attitude or just starts acting like a boss of everybody in a team, make him understand that a leader is chosen by those around him. So maybe he needs to relax his aggression and put down his ego when it is the question of the larger good of all.
Total Transparency: It’s not healthy for kids to bottle up emotions and often when they feel unloved or unappreciated or ignored, they start being difficult. Be warm & understanding enough for your little one to open up and be transparent about the most hurtful/bitter things bothering them. Avoid the need to be judgmental and call feelings “right” or “wrong” as it’s just human nature and your child is still a tiny human in this big world. Allow your kid to openly speak up about everything as this aids the healing process naturally, and helps them evolve as a more authentic person.
Seek & Speak the Truth: Be a friend rather than a parent and choose verbal communication even in situations where your child is being mischievous and difficult to discipline. Allow your child freedom to ask for whatever they want without acting up, whining, complaining, throwing tantrums so that they trust you more and grow up to be well-adjusted and understanding. Create an ambiance where your kid’s openness can flourish and avoid creating too many rules, because childhood is best enjoyed in freedom and surrender to the moment.
Which are some of the ways you communicate with your child? Share your views and get featured on the blog.