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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Let's teach our children the art and science of life

    I have read with deep interest the threads that seem to throw light on the most difficult times, when we, as parents are finding it very difficult to manage children of today. (12 plus years old, now).

    That is one aspect. Listen to those who are just 3 or 4 years old in the metro cities. Their learning curves have become very less indeed!! Be that as it may, it is essential that we teach our children the art and science of life. If we own two cars, let us not use one to drop our child everyday at school or get him a bike to ride to college. Let him go by the city bus. Let him understand how people run around. Let him be a part of the action. Let us not take the child only to the most fancy air-conditioned shopping malls. Let us take them to the slums and the orphanages. And the old age homes.

    It should be great if our child learns basic electricity mechanisms, basic car mechanisms, carpentry and even plumbing. We possibly do not teach them all this. Let them go to an ATM when they are just 14 and withdraw ten thousand rupees. Let them live life. Let them go through all the experiences, good and bad. Am afraid, since most children from upper middle class or rich families live in ultra-modern environments where they have a cell phone and a computer, with internet, by the age of five, they do not know how life is for the common man. For millions who are placed in the lower rungs of the economic ladder, for no fault of theirs.

    What do Members have to say on this? Any innovative ideas please?
  • #667854
    I really loved this thread and same happens to be my belief as well. We must have to change our mindset that we learn in school and colleges only. It's complete misconception. Our life itself is a school and when we experience our life, it teaches us every aspect of life throughout our life.
    As author rightly said, it's time for us to free children and let them learn their own about the real world. Let them fall down and let them stand up again on their own. We must teach them that falling and them again standing up is the circle of life and therefore one must not afraid of failures.
    Before we teach our children, it's us who has to change our mindset and then only we may help our children to learn lessons of life.

    "Words are precious, ought to be used wisely." - Umang Shah

  • #667861
    Very rightly posted, that now a days, we as parents want our children to have the best & often give them space to enjoy the real life. We must teach our children to learn the value of everything. He need to make friend with everyone. If he has a circle form all class, he will learn the real life. We can take them to markets / chanda, for movies in a normal theater, a visit to orphanage, old age home or hospital for birthday celebration. This will make him/ her understand the difficulties other have & will respect everyone. Teach him to share things with others which will make him learn to give. Let him go out and play with locals which will make him understand them.

    Every lesson learned will make them the real person that we want them to become.

    “Each day provides its own gifts.” —Marcus Aurelius

  • #667869
    A good post by the author. It is said that the parents are the best teachers of their children. They can inculcate good habits and good manners in them. If the parents are rich it does not mean that the child is also rich. Child should be first taught the value of money in the life and the challenges in life otherwise he will take the things as granted. The parents have a herculean task of keeping the children on righteous and laborious path. The children will resist to follow that but it is the prime duty of the parents to control and mould them in that conduit. The foundation stone is a very important thing and if it is weak the child will suffer throughout his life. Giving luxuries to children from an early age is the blunder many parents do.
    Knowledge is power.

  • #667871
    Let's say parents do all that you have suggested. How is all of this going to help the child?

    Parents who can afford a car, send their child to school by public transport. Do you think the take-home lesson for the child will be how the rest of the world is running around? I don't think so. The child will grow up resenting the parents.

    The socio-economic gap is wide and it will not go away easily. Children learn through example, and parents can set examples. A child does not have to experience hardship and poverty to be empathetic. Values of giving and sharing should be nurtured in the child through actions.

    Slums, orphanages and old-age homes are realities of life. Just visiting these places is not going to be of any use unless it is followed by some fruitful action. The lesson for children should not be how the rest of the world is living, it should be about how they can do their bit to improve the lives of people.

    Teach them to make sacrifices so they can spend the money that they would otherwise have used on pleasure, on a social cause. Let the goodness come from within, don't force it out of them. That never works. If you deprive a child so he learns a lesson, he will always remember that he was deprived and won't associate it with the reason behind the thought.

    Parenting is a tough business, it is the duty of every parent to create an environment where the child watches and learns. Ask necessary questions - how would you like to help the children in the orphanage? Appreciate the child's gestures and initiative with showering praise and taking pride.

    'A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak' - Micheal Garrett Marino

  • #667882
    Parents should set an example to their children regarding the importance of morals and values in life. They should learn from their parents how they should contribute for the improvement of social conditions around. When the father consumes daily 10 cigarettes and ask his son not to taste it and tell him that smoking is injurious, the child will think that the parent is not telling him the truth and he thinks why his father is taking when it is not good. If you help a person who is in difficulties your children will see that and learn that they should help the people who are in difficulties. Practice what you teach to your children is the point every parent should do.
    The parents should teach them the importance material and money. They should tell them that wasting material is not good as by wasting it we are denying food for another person.
    If we enjoy all luxuries of life and ask children not to have them may send wrong signals also. But we should tell them how much hard work or struggle we have put in to get these comforts and should tell them that they should also learn the importance of hard work in life.

    always confident

  • #667896
    Juana Madam, I appreciate your views. What has been written is largely based on my experience in our family and in several families that I know of. I firmly believe that the child should be exposed to everything that is common to people who are in the lower economic strata of society. Walking the talk is one thing. That is fine to teach values. But learning the realities of life does, in my opinion, help the children learn more about empathy. In this fast paced world, I have seen children, from my own relatives who are NRIs. They not only make huge donations when they come calling, but do so with a purpose. It is often given in kind to minimize any chance of the money being misused. For example, the entire inmates were given new clothing for two full years. Every minute detail was monitored with the help of local people.

    In all such cases, the parents were never too rich. It is just that they made the children, who were then very young, do most of what I have written. Guys who earn millions of US dollars working for IBM and Microsoft and Apple are now doing all this without a single noise.

    Of course, as I have mentioned, you are entitled to your views. My take is different. Let that be what it is. Of course, when they recollect all the learning from such a tender age, the nostalgia is fabulous to say the least. Yes, there are some fifty of them. We are now trying to take the help of NGOs to deepen the lakes and ponds in two areas, with local community support in two places, some eighty kilometers from Chennai, and we are just waiting for the rains to come. We are very much involved and once again, all this is born out of experience. Not everyone subscribes to our views. That is just as fine. Yes, there are guys who have turned very commercial after they have settled abroad. Their parents are dead and gone and in such cases, were cremated in the absence of the sons. This also happens.

    However, we are able to see everyone from various walks of life. My work with self-help groups is giving me the shocks I have never seen in my life. They are so much value-driven and are necessarily teaching their children more than what I have written. This is pretty good. My friend and I are also writing a case-study on their success, after obtaining their permission. This will be used in a particular B school.

    Well, I respect you for your views. Thanks a lot.

  • #667900
    Parenting is not an easy job. The environment outside and inside the house are different. Parents have to encourage and motivate the child for participative activities. He should not be unnecessarily forced for something he starts despising. Parenting is a delicate responsibility.
    Thoughts exchanged is knowledge gained.

  • #667903
    Ms. Bhatt, I very much appreciate your views. Please do note the fathers of the now filthy rich NRIs never forces anything on the children. In one case, the father was a very well known headmaster of a local Govt school. He was very famously known for his honesty. In the late seventies and eights, he could not even own a two wheeler. One son stood first in the entire district and among the first seven in the State. This son would happily visit old age homes, write letters for inmates, crack all jokes and so on. Even I had been there only once. The gentleman is related to me distantly. The boy sent to IIT Madras and then IIM Ahmedabad. He never looked back. He was selected for some course in IT in the eighties in US. He did that and joined IBM.

    The boys come from such families. In this case, at least ten students would run around and help poor patients in the then small Govt hospital. I do not want to give all details since none like any publicity. The headmaster is dead and gone. But his values are still there among so many, even today.

  • #667904
    Fortunately, I was raised to empathise, I was never deprived of anything, but was taught to give back to society. These were lessons that were inculcated in me from a young age, because I saw my parents do whatever they could, within their means, to help others. I have accompanied my parents to orphanages, but it was not done to show us how privileged my brother and I were. We learnt to share and learnt to do it willingly. I try to follow my parents' footsteps and do as much as I can for the less privileged.

    I talk the talk and I walk the walk, but rarely speak of what I do. Sharing an old pic of a school that some of us adopted, here in Chennai, a few years back. We distributed school uniforms to the fifty-odd students. We continue to do our bit, for the school and other causes. And none of us is filthy rich, we just feel the need to give back to society because we were raised that way.

    'A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak' - Micheal Garrett Marino

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  • #667906
    Excellent work. Please do keep it up. Once the boys get going and if they agree to take the snaps, I shall post them here. However, we can only pray for rain. Lobbying to nurture whatever water resources are still available in the city, is on. However, the vested interests take over. The private lorry business is actually benami of two ministers. This is exactly what is going on. This is the society in which we live.

  • #667907
    And just one piece of information that I would like to add. This sort of working on lakes and ponds is an initiative involving an estimated two lakh volunteers in Coimbatore city. The fabulous movement called Siruthuli, that translates into small drops in Tamil, was started long long ago by Ms. Vinitha Mohan, the wife of Mr. Mohan the CMD of Pricol. No wonder, water resources are just too good in that city now.

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