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Archive for December 13th, 2012

From: “Mamata & Satiish”
To: am-global@earthlink.net
Subject: Children’s Problems: Who Is Responsible
Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2012 21:27:36 +0530

Baba

== CHILDREN’S PROBLEMS: WHO IS RESPONSIBLE ==

Namaskar,
Here Baba outlines the early education process and the development of children, as well as who is responsible.

Baba says, “The mental outlook of children has already been moulded in a particular fashion by the influence of their family environment before they start school. No matter what or how much they learn at school, it is extremely difficult for them to free themselves from the influence of their family. Drawing on what they have learned in the family, the immature minds of children begin to learn about the world and understand it, and to receive ideas and master language so that they can express those ideas. Unhesitatingly they adopt their elders’ way of looking at the world. Hence the primary responsibility for acquainting children with the world lies with their parents or guardians. Children will become assets of society in the future to the extent that their parents or guardians discharge their duties properly.”

“I have no hesitation in saying that today’s adults have not yet developed a scientific method of training children’s minds. Even most so-called educated and refined people, let alone average adults, are either ignorant about or indifferent to the education of their children. Their ignorance may be pardoned, but how can we forgive their indifference? The family into which a child has been born will naturally have to bear the primary responsibility for the physical, mental and spiritual development of that child.” (Human Society – 1, Education)

MORE ABOUT EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

So Baba places tremendous emphasis on early childhood development. We all know that Baba wants us to have pre-schools and elementary schools in all towns and villages around the globe. So Teachers have a grand role to play; yet, as cited above and below, He also places great importance on the role of parents.

Baba says, “It must be the teachers’ responsibility to impart knowledge, teach restraint in social life, and give instruction about all the various aspects of collective endeavour, but the parents will have to take on most of the responsibility for the moral and spiritual education of the child.” (Human Society – 1)

Thus in our schools and in our homes, children are to be surrounded by loving, caring, responsible adults who are tuned in to the needs, problems and yearnings of our youths. And from an early age they are to be introduced to the ways of neo-humanism and a cosmic outlook.

If from the very beginning children feel a sense of connection to others around them and to the universe as a whole, they will feel they have a place in this world. They will feel loved and share love with others, seeing all as their family members. They will feel like they are a part of humanity – not alienated by it.

For these reasons, Baba places a grand emphasis on the early experiences of children, both inside and outside of school. If the child has this proper base, then bullying – and so many other childhood issues that abound today – will never be an issue in their life.

OUR RESPONSE

With the situation of bullying as serious as it is, the issue demands resolution.

Tragically, all too often, parents are too busy to even know that their children are going through such traumatic events. Parents work 10 or 12 hours days, see their kids for a few minutes at night, and hardly have time to eat dinner together let alone talk about meaningful matters. Besides, when there is a basic gap in parent-child communication, then things mostly go unnoticed and unaddressed.

If and when some parents do come to know that their kids are getting bullied, they often respond with a phrase like, “Don’t worry, just make some other friends.”

This is most harmful as it shoves the problem under the rug. This only worsens the situation and allows it to fester, causing lifelong problems like fear complexes, alienation, despair, nightmares, and depression.

As parents, our approach must be extremely pro-active when it comes to bullying.

1. Parents must tune in, come forward and pay concern to their child’s physical and emotional needs. For children, getting bullied is a frightening thing. Kids must feel that they are loved and that as parents we are concerned with their problem.

2. Parents must go to school and resolve the situation with the principal and / or teachers. This type of direct action is needed.

3. If needed, parents must place their kids in a different school or different learning environment.

4. Parents should also look into creating alternative social opportunities for their children by having their kids meet up with kids from a different neighborhood on the weekend. The kids should not be around those same children who bully them.

5. Parents must be very aware of what kinds of friends their children have. Friends are a huge component of a child’s life and can be a telltale sign of what direction your child’s life is progressing.

6. Again and again, parents must enforce the sentiment that “You are mine and I love you very much” within their child’s mind. This must start from Day 1 and be reinforced every day and every night by providing a safe environment for their kids where they are included, loved, and embraced.

We have to remember that school and friends are everything for children. Just as we work for a proper stature in society, our kids do the same. As devastating as it is for us to lose our place in the world, it is doubly scarring for children.

We must take their problems like bullying as monumental occurrences and not minimise the problem as being petty. Should we talk down or pooh-pooh the problem, our kids will never tell us anything again. It will block all communication and the problem will fester.

Tragically this is what we see happening again and again in today’s materialistic society. And the result is that we have children graduating from schools with a whole basket of psychic and emotional issues that hinder them for the rest of their life. And we have children who are grossly disconnected from their families and communities.

Thus, as parents, teachers, counselors, concerned neighbors and school administrators, we should address this problem of bullying in a very forthright and direct manner. Failing that, we are inviting a whole slew of issues for our children, as well as losing their trust.

CHALLENGES OF THIS MODERN WORLD

Here below Baba points out the challenges of living in today’s world which is marred by imbalances and incongruities.

Baba says, “It can be said that ordinary people, like teachers, face many types of problem in their lives; in fact teachers’ problems are only a reflection of larger social problems. It is quite true that in the modern material world strenuous efforts to conquer the limitations of time, place and person are apparent everywhere. It is as if human beings are being forcibly dragged forward by the hair of their heads. Speed is the main consideration; whether any good is accomplished or not is a secondary factor. Thus different social trends are unable to maintain a harmonious pace in their forward movement. Some trends are far advanced in their development while others lag behind. This causes some parts of the social structure which were close together to move apart, and other parts which were once apart to come together, leading to the collapse of the entire structure. The thatched hut is still the same, but electrical wiring has been strung through it. The only food available is salt and boiled rice, but the ordinary old clay stove has been replaced by an electric “heater” [hotplate]. Such incongruities are now common in society.” (Human Society – 1, Education)

Next Baba outlines key points about parenting in this modern era: Pitfalls and answers.

“The views established in our psychic world regarding the different trends of life have so unnaturally diverged from one another that the naturalness of the human mind has been spoiled. Human beings have lost the capacity to think anything, but somehow pass their days with a lot of hollow, mechanical mental objects. The caravan of our social life thus rolls on.”

“So today parents may rightly say, “We have almost no vital energy left after exchanging blows and counter-blows with life. We have no chance to mould the minds of our children with the care and tenderness of our hearts. All the sweetness and finer sensibilities of our minds have been sucked dry by the harsh realities of life. How can we take care of our children? We cannot even provide them with proper food and clothing. How can we know what they are thinking? Do we have the time to understand anything properly at all? We know children should be taught through the medium of play and entertainment, both at home and outside, but is it possible for us to do that? We even have to disturb our talented son at his studies to send him to the grocer’s to buy salt, cooking oil, spices, etc. We know it is wrong, but there is no alternative, for keeping a servant is beyond our means.””

“There may be some truth in this, but it is not the point at issue here. In order to develop a healthy outlook, the most important thing children need is robust idealism. To impart this, parents require only two virtues: self-restraint and good judgement. Let us discuss good judgement first.”

“The method of extracting work by terrorizing the minds of children is not only made use of by a particular type of teacher, it is also often still more harmfully practised by parents. They frighten their children, tell them lies, engage in scurrilous brawls before them, and deceive and torment them; but they still expect that some day their children will become respectable members of society – that their children will bring glory to their family name. When their children are reluctant to drink milk or sleep, they terrify them by invoking imaginary goblins or frightful ghosts. Children initially have no fear, yet a fearful panorama is played out before them. Through this practice the parents may achieve some temporary gain, but even if the children wait a lifetime, they can never be compensated for the harm done to them. Even when these same children attain young adulthood, the thought of ghosts will not leave their minds – ghosts will become their permanent companions.”

“When the parents are about to go on a trip or go to a show, or when they are invited to a pleasant function or a social outing, the children may start whining or nattering to accompany them. At such times many parents tell lies without a qualm; somehow they dupe their children and leave. When the children realize what has happened, they also learn to tell lies; and to hide their intentions or their actions from their parents, they gradually start lying more and more.”

“Parents deceive their children in many ways. By calling sweet things bitter and pleasant things unpleasant, they prevent their children from enjoying them. But by disregarding parental injunctions and prying inquisitively, as is the wont of human nature, children discover the truth. Then they realize that their parents have been deceiving them. As a result they start deceiving not only their parents, but their friends and classmates as well. So it is abundantly clear that children are taught the first lessons in the arts of lying and deception by their own parents at home.”

“In a family it is natural that differences of opinion will arise among the adults; when they do, the adults should reconcile their differences considering each other’s opinions. Unfortunately they often lack the requisite mental make-up to reach an amicable agreement – each tries to convince everybody else of his or her viewpoint without caring about the opinions of others. The result is an outburst of unreasonable obstinacy – the adults lose all self-control and behave in a gross and vulgar manner. The effect on the minds of the children is disastrous. Children thus learn obstinacy from their elders. If the mother or those with whom the children spend most of their time is obstinate, the neglected children will, in most cases, become noticeably obstinate, and they will have to carry this psychic ailment around with them for a long time. If, on the other hand, as is sometimes the case, the wishes and desires (if they are not unreasonable) of children are fulfilled, the children will not have the opportunity to learn obstinacy.”

“In some families the parents have lost their peace of mind due to poverty or some other cause and oppress their children with or without reason. Naturally the children lose respect for their parents, which further aggravates family indiscipline. The parents have to put up with more unrest, adding to their lack of peace.”

“Parents who are middle- or high-level officials in the public works or police departments have to get work done through others or supervise manual labourers or subordinates, so they often forget to talk sweetly. Some become accustomed to using abusive language, and some to issuing commands. Due to this their children do not have an opportunity to learn to speak with restraint. Such children suffer from a superiority complex, even within their circle of friends. In their future lives it will be extremely difficult for them to love people and create a congenial social environment.”

“Some parents may claim that it is impossible to maintain a balanced life in an age full of problems, where they are extremely busy with numerous activities. I maintain, however, that it is possible for an intelligent parent to avoid the mistakes I have discussed. If parents fail to carry out their basic duties, I am compelled to say that, although they live in society, they are guilty of encouraging an antisocial mentality. By encouraging their children to develop a criminal psychology, they give unnecessary trouble to the police. The main point is this: for want of a little care, children are deprived of the opportunity to become complete human beings, even though they have a human structure.” (Discourses on Neohumanist Education)

BABA’S BLESSING

By His grace, all have come into this world to flower, bloom, and blossom. That is the dharma of human beings. When society itself blocks this progress, problems abound. Many problems associated with child rearing and parenting are a direct result of materialism. From there, social ills abound. This entire situation demands our critical attention; otherwise, a neo-humanistic society will remain out of reach. I hope others will take up this important topic and share their thoughts – our kids deserve it, and our society needs it.

Namaskar,
in Him,
Mamata

PRABHAT SAMGIITA

“Toma’ya a’mi bhla’loba’si, a’mi toma’ra a’jina’ka’ri…” P.S. 4589

Purport:

Baba, I love You. By Your grace always I feel blessed to obey or carry out Your divine order. By Your endless compassion, I spend all my days involved in shravan, manan, and nidhidhyasana. All my time is spent chanting and hearing Your blissful name and thinking of You. By Your unfathomable grace, I am always engaged in Your ideation.

Baba, in true sense I do not know whether I love You or not. I do not even want to know whether I am loving You or not. All I know is that my heart is yearning for You. Baba, please be gracious and compassionate and bless me with more and more devotion. This is the only thing I want – to remain close at Your lotus feet.

Baba, with my whole existence – my body, heart, & mind, I do sastaunga pranam at Your lotus feet. Baba, please grant me ragatmika devotion so I may serve and love You and remain in Your closest proximity.

Baba, You are the most gracious One…

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