By Vaibhav Datar
I was recently speaking at a literary fest when I asked the audience, “Who wants to become a super parent?” and the resounding answer was “All of us”. And what did they you want their children to become? Of course, the best citizens of the world. My last and final question was if anyone had learnt parenting in school, and the answer obviously was negative. There is no parenting school. We all learn it on the job. Mind you, parenting the second child is not the same as parenting the first one. Because, you have newer learning each day.
So even if we say that parents are the first teachers for children, I would say that the reverse is also true, since children are definitely the best teachers for their parents. They end up teaching so many things to a parent. As parents, it is our responsibility to give our kids the best academic as well as emotional education.
After all, the child is going to become an adult tomorrow and has to learn skills to face the world. So why not teach him emotional intelligence and emotional independence during childhood phase, so that he grows up to be a “better citizen” of the world?
Keeping up with Christmas spirit and the fact that we all are eternal learners, let us quickly go through a list of things, Santa would have loved to gift this festive season.
Learning to listen
It is rightly said that listening is the best gift you can give to anyone in the world. As coaches, we make transformations, when we listen. We listen for key words, we listen for what’s going on within and not what’s being said. We listen for cues to our inner world. We listen to the bigger goal a person is hoping to achieve.
Listening is very different from hearing. When you are truly connected, you can feel the vibes and are completely tuned in with the person. If your child learns how to listen, he will have greater insights into people. He will be able to take better decisions as well as become popular as well.
“Is Santa for real and will he get some gifts for me this Christmas?” is every child’s favourite question during Christmas. As parents, we like questions to a point. Once they get a little demanding or uncomfortable, we ask the child to shut up. We find excuses to avoid answering. But remember, by stopping the flow of questions we are doing no good to the child.
The child’s questions are from a level of innocence and not necessarily to put someone down. As a parent, it is our responsibility to teach the child the power of asking the right curious questions. Questions which open the mind and allow us look at the world positively are welcome.
Tap into energy
Energy is everywhere. We are doing great disservice to ourselves, but not tapping the abundant energy around us. Meditation is one of the best ways to tap this energy. For me, meditation is any activity, where I forget time and space. I may play badminton or I may be coaching or just sitting with my eyes closed. Each is an act of meditation that taps into a vast resource. Let the child learn to meditate early in life. The benefits are boundless. He will receive limitless energy and infinite potential. Christmas is the perfect time to tap into the abundant energy of the universe.
Forgiveness is a very noble act. Resentment, anger, negativity are to be avoided. Easier said than done, since we tend to harbour these emotions unconsciously. Disease itself means someone who is not at ease. When you hold negative thoughts, then you are mentally not at ease or diseased. When your mind can no longer hold it, it starts showing in your physical body. However, if you are able to forgive people in the first instant itself, you will always be at ease. Teach your children the power of forgiveness.
Learn to give
Sharing doesn’t come naturally and easily to a child. Unfortunately, this is the way that society has conditioned us. This is mine and that is yours and if you want mine, you have to give something which is yours. We start valuing what we have in monetary terms. Kids need to be taught the power of giving early. Give, because you will always receive ten times from the universe. Give because we are all so interconnected.
And since Christmas is here, there is no bigger giver than Santa Claus himself. He teaches us to give, give and give. He does not expect anything in return. Imbibe these qualities in your child as well.
(The writer is a midlife coach and author of Simplify Your Life.)