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Consciously Raising More Aware Children

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by meVaidehi, Dec 24, 2018.

  1. meVaidehi

    meVaidehi Platinum IL'ite

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    I recently took my son a religious celebration (Datta Jayanti)
    As expected from a child in nuclear family, with one parent atheist, living abroad, he knew little about what to do from the sequence of praying to when to get Prasad. The Arti's were almost alien language to him. He dozed off for the entire duration of Pravachan part. Looking at Gurudev Datta's photo, he shouted out loud, "I know! we are here for that Jai Bappa's birthday". And the food was most exciting activity of the evening.
    Yet
    He was excited and wantedly came with me. He watched everything with so much curiosity. He tried to be as respectful to the people a d happenings as his 5 year self could muster up. He read the whole schedule even without understanding half of it. And remembered it. He participated with holding the flag during Palkhi, clapping for Arti, did everything I told him to.
    He asked questions all through the evening genuinely wanting to understand. Before leaving, when I was putting some money for the Hundi in my purse and explained to him why I am doing that, he took out some from his own piggy bank. Once there, the first thing he did was look for the box and put it in. We still have a long way to go.

    As a parent, there are few things as satisfying as your child participating in a celebration of your values.
    Maybe he won't like these once he grows up. Maybe he will grow up to find some values and beliefs that are totally different.
    But for now, he loves something that's close to my heart. Because deep down, we need to have a belief system of some kind. Because that's one of the things that make us more accommodating, empathetic, patient, respectful of our surroundings humans, animals, nature and beyond.
    P. S. There are plenty of other nice things we teach him apart from religion.
     
    Amica, Laks09, pumpkin01 and 6 others like this.
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  2. GeetaKashyap

    GeetaKashyap IL Hall of Fame

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    Good perspective, @meVaidehi.
     
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  3. Rihana

    Rihana IL Hall of Fame

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    True. A belief system provides a ready-made and familiar structure that family, relatives and others agree on; observing values and imparting them to children becomes more a chartered territory. Parent does not have to consciously look for teachable opportunities and create practices and too many new family traditions.
     
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  4. meVaidehi

    meVaidehi Platinum IL'ite

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    Thank you Geeta ji
     
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  5. meVaidehi

    meVaidehi Platinum IL'ite

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    Perfectly said Rihana! I always have a little apprehension about the family specific ways of celebration. As a child i remember doing the same thing as everyone in our village or town.
    It's so much easier for kids to remember and follow same traditions. That's why these vommuncom celebrations are very important. They teach kids the fun of celebrating together and bonding on same beliefs.
     
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  6. satchitananda

    satchitananda Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Vaidehi, I find Indian kids in foreign countries are often more eager than kids here to get to know the details about their faith including reason, logic etc. Encouraged along the way, they could know a lot more then kids brought up here. Good to see that your 5 year old is learning really quick.
     
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  7. Rihana

    Rihana IL Hall of Fame

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    What is vommuncom? Sorry for asking if it is obvious.

    I totally agree that it is easier overall if an existing and common to all belief system is in place and followed. I've chosen the other way and have had to research, innovate and go by instinct raising my children in an atheist household. Often, I have felt it would be easier to be like most of our friends -- who closely match the description in the first post.
     
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  8. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    @meVaidehi,

    Actually, it is not a must but nice to have. Each person's journey is very different. Belief systems are created to have a very general direction for salvation and really it is the curious mind that inquires more and more to find why building a flawless life and character is critical. Belief systems are means to an end and not an end in itself. There are flaws in Belief systems practiced traditionally creating social instability sometimes. Even fundamentally, worshiping creates duality which is much against Advaita philosophy.

    Having said all that, children have a tendency to emulate the parents a lot when their mind development takes place. Eventually, such residues will remain in the subconscious mind despite encryption creating thoughts constantly. That is why parents teach recitation, chants, etc. at a very young age to the children which help their minds to focus.

    Believe me, I am a very strong believer and you probably could see it from all my writings here in IL. However, the cleanest life is how one develops the character of selfless service, ceiling on desires, detached life style, trusteeship in holding assets, mentality of dedicating actions to the common good, etc. Worship becomes valuable if and only when a man recognizes his innate divinity.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2018
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  9. meVaidehi

    meVaidehi Platinum IL'ite

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    Yes and even parents try to keep kids connected to the roots. Specially because during festivals we don't see it around here.
     
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  10. satchitananda

    satchitananda Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Wow! Was going through this list and evaluating where I stand. I am always a work in progress. So still plenty to be done.
     
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