The esoteric life always keeps us busy with battling our own challenges. The challenges are either personal, career, physical, mental and emotional, or all of them piquing at once. Nevertheless, the battle gets tougher when it is self- created. One of the great mystic in India says, “over 80% of the problems happening to us are because of the self-creation of the chattering mind”. Never-ending thoughts of insecurity, jealousy and fear.
A weary brain trying to cope up with camouflaged aspirations wrapped in stress.
A jealous mind struggling with foolhardy comparisons.
One can imagine the anxiety when our un-met expectations aggravate the anger quotient.
And, our body (physical and mental health) always pays the price in the juggling competition with our bossy brain.
This is because we usually see the world through our mind. It’s our thoughts and thinking which make up our physical world. Therefore, isn’t it a good idea that our mind is more equipped and strong to handle sensible solutions to problems rather than giving in, to the chattering. Control and calm the gibberish mind who always incites the destruction of ‘Thyself’ and others.
Now, one may wonder what has this got to do with the level-headedness in children? How is my mental/emotional security dependent on my child’s sensibility? (for details please refer to my article on confidence).
The message is loud and clear: The children always follow us. They do not give a damn to our chiding/ordering/nagging. Therefore, the only choice left with us is to understand and value the importance of being at peace and blissful. Be their role model, Influence self and the child to handle the life situations in a more mature way. We have been given the responsibility of creating a new generation, a bunch of adults who are much better than us.
Instead of beating around the bushes let us go straight to the point.
How many of us really understand the seriousness of the alarming below statistics?
How many of us feel the need to change oneself before parenting a child?
How many of us are aware that our children need help?
How many of us are passing the bucks and saying “it cannot be my child? My child has no issues”.
But, the reality is that the human brain especially a child’s brain is very sensitive. If we do not act right now our child can be one of them. The kind of life style we are leading, the issues like bullying, suicide, withdrawal from social circle, mannerisms issues, anti- social behavior, rape and substance usage can raise exponentially in coming years.
The below research data show us the rate of suicides, mental illness and mental morbidity in India. Unfortunately, the number is on the rise every census. Children below 14 years are attempting suicides!
This group is our future generation. Unless we guide the children up to age 18 we cannot create a sensible future.
According to the research by National institute of mental health’s and sciences 2016 Mental morbidity.
- Considerable numbers of adults (age group 18-29) are mentally morbid. Also, the research says the children too are succumbing for mental ailments.
- 1 in 20 people in India are suffering from depression.
- The research reveals the shocking stats that the children below 14 years of age have been the victims of suicides. Among the various reasons family problems, study pressure, bullying, less marks are a few reasons.
- The research says substance usage (drugs )is on rise in youth. even the pre-teens are getting into the trap
Since we now acknowledge that there is some problem, let us try and figure out the main source of this problem. A few of them are discussed below briefly.
- Creating a positive atmosphere at home
The whole world today is frenzy about the blue whale game. Parents are losing their sleep over this idiocy. All sorts of messages are popping around in the media and the internet.
Let’s call it straight now, the children are going to face many such mental challenges in life. Well, today we ban one tomorrow another crops up. Instead of emphasizing on the cure it would be great if we concentrate on prevention (the root cause).
Creating positive atmosphere at home is a very important factor for the kids mental and emotional wellbeing. Healthy arguments and discussions with a plethora of inquisitiveness and questioning can create an optimistic mental well-being. We may not be able to answer all of them, or may not have enough time for their curiosity. But listening to them with patience and interest without judging their questions will win the trust of a child. Our genuine interest in their curiosity can make a huge difference in their confidence. The child will find solace in us if any question or a problem. On the other hand, we have had the advantage of patience evolving in us.
By trying to keep our insecurities, temperament and impatience at bay at least in front a child, we are in a high gain mode. Kids will eventually start feeling ‘Heart is where the home is ‘
- Children have self-esteem too
Since we are born a few years earlier than our children, it doesn’t qualify us to be their boss. Also, neither can we claim that we are smart. We have our share of flaws and kids have theirs too. They have all the rights to let us down, not obey, and argue with us. I wonder, how does ‘obey us because we have said so’! make any sense? The kids should respect and love us, not obey us just because we ordered. We have to gain respect from them and treat them with respect too.
Every child regardless of any age has the right to be treated with respect (the exact same respect which we expect from others).
The inherent quality of a child is to always impress his parents. They act silly, they dance, they sing, they try act good etc. just to make sure that the parents are happy with his actions. Just because they do not meet our expectations at certain times doesn’t give us any right to ill-treat a child, reprimand, make fun of them in front of others and compare them with other children.
The result: It will challenge the self-worth of a child and create a serious under communication problems with the parents. The children will start hiding things from us and this can aggravate to any level.
It’s high time we curtail our level of expectations from them, let them be children. Instead of letting them down with our presumptions let us work towards not creating a perfect child or a perfect parent. Because, that is Ideal. And, there is nothing called ‘ideal parenting’.
- Knowing what knowledge to impart?
The socio-economic conditions in India after the colonial rule forced us to believe that the only way to come out of poverty was by employment. The main emphasis on knowledge based education got shifted to education leading to employment. Unfortunately, this still continues, the whole lot of educational institutions are busy catering to our anxieties. They have become business like entities.
Now, one might ask “Does it mean that scholastic education not important at all?”. My answer would be,
“Of course yes, a child’s knowledge/education in science, technology, arts, mathematics, social sciences etc. is necessary. This can be very useful for his survival. But, life is much more than survival isn’t it? “
No-education can lead to ignorance .
But , education with ignorance will lead to self- destruction .
Do we really know we are a bunch of oblivious people with degrees?
Then, what really is education?
‘Sa vidhyaya ya vimukthaye’ which means, education is the one which uplifts the soul, or liberates the person. At one read, the above sentence seems to be an over the head and out of the world spiritual sentence, but it isn’t. In simple words it means ‘Real education is one which helps us in leading a stress free, blissful and happy life. An education which teaches us to be a socially responsible person. An education which teaches us to raise above the survival mindset.
But, by swinging a bit to the other end, are we losing the balance and real emphasis of education?
Are we torturing our children and ourselves with expectations and comparisons? Wouldn’t it be much nicer and stress-free if we shift our focus from examinations, marks, achievements and success?
Should we all sit and relax with a relief that people with professions like bartenders, barbers, masseuse, dancer, pole dancers, sous chef etc. are leading a decent life? Not all the folks with white collar jobs are happy and not all the other collared ones are dying with hunger.
The catch here is ‘creating an environment such that they are honest in whatever they do in life, ‘Do good in what you do’.
This mindset can relieve a major stress in children. That they are not living to please us or meet our expectations. The tension free life can make them better thinkers, creators and human beings.
To be mentally strong is an endeavor which cannot be achieved by insecurity and playing the victim card.