Wednesday, March 25, 2009

9) Parenting Through Instructions

"The important thing is that children should grow up with parents who believe that there are some ways of life which for us today are better than others, and that these ways are worth defending with every ounce of our strength." Anna W.M.Wolf

The sacrifices that parents make for children edge out the heroics of soldiers in war and the passion of national greats who lay down their lives for their countries. For parents, there is no medal of honor, trophy or National Award. They give because of the joy of giving. Despite their good intentions and sacrifices, some parents end up having children who are selfish, unconcerned and a drain on society. Their selfishness is reflected in the way they bear grudges, throw temper-tantrums, indulge in destructive criticisms, self-indulge, demonstrate exaggerated feelings of inferiority, brag, bully and over-depend on parents. There is one way of describing such children:'spoiled brats'.

How do parents correct such behavior? Through well-thought-out Parental Instructions. Like tracks on the field, for athletes to stay within, Parental Instructions are guidelines for children to stay clear of corrupting influences and bad habits. Parental Instructions can be powerfully put across through example in action; they can also be conveyed through motivating words and unforgettable anecdotes. A glance from a parent can speak as eloquently as a well-orchestrated action. Such instructions should be reinforced with supporting actions. For example, if the lesson is on thrift, parental action should bolster those words.To say something, and to do the opposite nullifies the impact of the good words. For that reason, Parental Instruction and Example cannot be separated. For that reason again, parents have to constantly ask themselves if their lives are shedding light or casting shades.

Either through words or actions, or both, parents transmit their own set of values, to their children. If the value system of the parents is warped, there is every chance that children will justify their twisted logic, even as their parents did. By a process of osmosis, children absorb into themselves parental visions which are flawed or otherwise. The software children inherit from parents becomes the legacy which they log on to, even years after they have left home; and messages from what was once their home, flash on their mental monitors again and again.

It is not that 'good' parents succeed in giving their children only positive inputs.
Some negative inputs will disguise themselves and escape into the mental make-up of the children. But if inputs from parents are mainly positive and character-building,
children will find a way to counter the negative ones.

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