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Question: Acharya Ji, I have a kid, who is six years old. What are the things I should provide to my kid? How can I help my child learn values?
Acharya Prashant Ji: You will need to provide yourself to him; not toys, not books.
Questioner: I am doing that. One of the things that I also understood from the discussions done with you was, you advised me to break certain patterns of mind. Should the kid also break certain patterns?
Acharya Prashant Ji: Obviously.
See, the kid will learn much more from your life than from your mere words or toys etc. you bring for him, or the facilities you provide to him.
It’s very subliminal – the way you look at the kid, your presence in the house.
The kid absorbs from everything.
The TV is on. The way you respond to a certain scene or sound, the way you respond to a certain thing from the news channel. To you, it is an instinctive reaction, but the kid is watching. And you cannot always be cautious that the kid is watching.
The way you really are, would come out and reveal to the kid.
Your prejudices, your beliefs, your excitability, your weaknesses, your fears, all will stand exposed, because home is the place where the tendencies of a person get a free run to express themselves.
You might wear a garb in the office or in the street. But when you are at home, you say, “I feel free to be myself.” And when you are being yourself, the child is watching.
Often parents think that – the kid is so small, what would he anyway understand? So a lot of discussions, and quarrels, and ugly spats, all happen in front of the kid. And the assumption is that, the kid is not comprehending anything. But those are the moments when the kid is absorbing stuff, fast and thick.
If the kid has observed half an hour of a fight at home, then he has probably absorbed more than he usually absorbs in a week’s time. The fights are usually not in the service of divine matters. Are they? You fight for the sake of money, or you fight because you are jealous, or you fight because of unmet desires, sexual needs.
So, while it is important to think of the kid, it is a little more important to take of oneself as a parent.
Even without any conscious knowledge, you would be helping the kid a lot with just your presence, if you are an evolved being.
You won’t need to explicitly train the kid.
Everything amounts to teaching – your glance, the pitch of your voice, the loudness, the way you construct your sentences, the way you relate to the kid and others around.
All of this, is a form of teaching.
And when you know what is good for you, you would also know what is good for another human being, which the kid is.
Watch the session video: How to help one’s child learn great values? || Acharya Prashant (2019) The transcription has been edited for clarity.
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