- Son: Mommy, why does the rug look exactly like the rug?
- Me: Because it is the rug.
- Son: Hm.
- Son: A very long time ago I used to be from Mars.
- Me: Really?
- Son: But I’m also from Earth.
- Son: If I take my eyelashes off my eyes won’t have clothes on!
- Me: Can I cut your hair?
- Son: No, I like me the way I am.
- Me: But it’s in your face.
- Son: I’m making a helmet out of hair.
- Me: Why are you peeling the paper off your crayons?
- Son: So they can take a bath.
- Me: The paper is their clothes?
- Son: Yeah, then they’ll be bare. Bare means naked.
- Me: **singing**
- Son: Shhhh! Let the song sing it.
I constantly learn from my child but I also pick up what he is learning and how he sees and understand what he is learning. I am always concerned with how he encounters the world and what my role is in guiding him to understanding it all. It’s easy to be inundated with advice, do’s and don’ts, psychology, training strategies, methods, behavioral modifications, punishing without punishment, nurturing without coddling, cognitive development, over-achieving, under-achieving – it’s overwhelming.
There is so much babble it drowns out an equally important aspect of guiding our children – to be good human beings. Maybe we leave that for our religious or spiritual guides to cover or think that teaching our kids to not hit or kick, to not scream inside, to share and sit properly will be enough. How do we create good people?
Swami Bhoomananda gives this advice on what to teach our children:
“A parent should pray and say, ‘Be a lover of values and virtues, dear child. May your heart expand and encompass the whole universe. Human life is fulfilled in such expansion. Do not allow any narrowness. Always wish the best for others. Do not be poor in heart and mind. Whenever possible, replace vice with virtue in your heart. Look for such friends in whose company you can travel the path of goodness.’”*
*Excerpt from the book “To the Householder” by Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha in email newsletter: Role of Parents by Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha, Volume 10 Number 42, 13 Oct 2014