All Glories To Srila Prabhupada.
The biggest problem in today’s scenario is inculcating good values in the minds of our young children. It is said that learning bad habits takes no time but to remain pious one have to really work hard. If we want to train or introduce Krishna Consciousness to our children, we should be very prompt in doing so.
Here I wanted to share a few things which I am following for the last 5 years and seeing results. I thought it may be useful to all young parents, especially mothers.
Parenting Tip# 1. Garbadhan Samskara
To attract a pure soul into the womb, a couple must follow the "Garbadhan Samskara". When a couple plan for a child, they are advised to chant extra rounds of Hare Krishna Mahamantra. This makes their consciousness fixed on Krishna and hence helps in the process. In case one’s partner is not a devotee then at least he or she should follow the samskara.
Parenting Tip# 2. After successful conceiving
When a mother conceives, she should always try to be blissful and always hear the maha-mantra. She should try to read scriptures or pastimes like Krsna Book, Jagannath Past Times, Ramayana, etc.
When Hiranyakashipu's wife, Kayadu, was carrying Prahalad Maharaj in her womb, she was under the protection of Narada Muni. Every day Narada used to speak about the pastimes of Lord. One day she fell asleep but Prahalad Maharaj was replying to Narada Muni from the womb. There are many instances like this. So from here, we can learn one thing through scriptures is that a baby starts hearing from the womb itself, that is why a mother carrying a special soul must be extra careful.
Parenting Tip# 3. After baby’s first movement
When a mother feels the baby’s movement, parents should start speaking to the baby. As mentioned, a baby can hear everything and whatever a parent speaks affects a lot during pregnancy.
I used to especially read Jagannath pastimes and Krsna book.
One fine day when my daughter was about a year old, she started holding a pencil and writing something on the walls. When I looked closely, I saw, she was drawing Lord Jagannath's face. This can happen when we give a Krishna Conscious Environment to them.
Parenting Tip# 4. Understand what giving Krishna Consciousness to Children mean
One very important point to be kept in mind is, giving Krishna Consciousness doesn’t mean we should force them to follow whatever we do. Rather parents should be the role models for them. Normally people think that small kids don't understand anything, but no, children can understand a great many things also if we try to explain to them by coming to their level.
Parenting Tip# 5. Restricting addiction to gadgets.
Most of the parents do this mistake. They keep candies or rasgulla in front of their children and tell them not to eat!!!
We must understand this. Many parents ask suggestion from me on how can they stop their children from the addiction of Gadgets and watching Cartoons. Generally, people think it is very tough to stop kids but I feel that this is very simple.
If we have T.V. at home, better don't recharge it and explain to your kid that T.V. is not working properly. Initially, they will not believe because these kids are very intelligent. You may then switch on the T.V. and show them. As a parent, we should also regulate our lifestyle in order to inculcate the values in our children. The problem comes when parents want to enjoy watching T.V. but expect their children to stay away from it.
When parents spend time with them, tell them stories from scriptures and play with them they will never touch mobile phones or look for artificial entertainment. Children feel the love through the touch so we should hug them, kiss them and play with them.
Parenting Tip# 6. Praising helps better than a material bribe
Generally it is seen that parents bribe their children with artificial material things, like allowing them to play video games, or watch youtube or mobile phone or watch T.V. Things might seem to work initially, but, on a long run it not only entangles the child in an addiction of gadgets but ruins their eyes also.
There is a refined and better technique which I use on my daughter. If I want her to do something which she doesn’t want to do, I just start praising her, as soon as I praise her she does the thing. For example, if I want to feed her any vegetable which she doesn't like, I start praising her, and soon she will finish her meal. This way of bribing is healthy, for it builds a bond between child and parents and also doesn’t spoil her health.
Parenting Tip# 7. Be a role model.
Parents must try to spend as much time as possible with their children as possible. This makes their children feel cared and loved. Thus slowly parent and child grow together to become best of friends. Children as they grow, they start admiring and considering parents as their role models.
Parenting Tip# 8. Do not feed them bad relation
As a young child, they learn many things from parents. Hence parents must be extra careful not to argue or quarrel in front of children. This affects them a lot, and they don't just start to disrespect parent but all relations in general.
Parenting Tip# 9. Gift them good value along with material education.
There is a story of a mother and a son. The mother always wanted her son to be first in the class, go abroad and earn money. The boy did whatever his mother wanted him to do. He got settled abroad.
Once she got sick and was waiting for her son to come and take care of her, he didn’t come. One day she was sharing her sorrow with a wise man.
The wise man asked her “did you ever take your son to temple?” She said “No.”
The man asked “did you take him to visit any relatives home” She said “no”.
Then the wise man said “when you didn't inculcate any good things in him, how you are expecting your son to come here and take care of you. All you have done is ask him to study, go abroad and earn money. You didn’t teach him to value relation. So he is doing whatever you wanted him to do, then why are you feeling bad now when he is not coming here and taking care of you?”
So from this story, we can learn a moral that yes we should ask them to study well, earn money and all the material things, but along with this, we should give them the culture, take them to temples, visit relatives, associate with devotees. Because if we give good values when they are small, they will never ever do any mistakes in their lives because of those values which we have inculcated in them.
Parenting Tip# 10. Have faith in Krishna.
We must understand that everything in the life of a sincere devotee is orchestrated by the divine mercy of Krishna. Hence a devotee doesn't try to control things but to rely on Krishna's mercy. As a Krishna Conscious parent, one must humbly surrender to Krishna. This will also set an example for the children.
I hope you have found these tips useful. If you have any suggestion, or confusion or need any parenting advise please leave a comment or contact us.
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