What is the role of a good parent? They should mold their child in such a way that by the age of fifteen, all the right moral values are instilled in them.
Param Pujya Dadashri says, ‘Every young adult has the potential power to help the entire world. He just needs the right guidance and support.’
Let us first understand the nature of today’s generation in Param Pujya Dadashri’s words to identify their strengths and weaknesses and then instill values in them to ensure their moral development.
Understanding the nature of today’s youth
a) Today's Youth is Pure at Heart
Questioner: What direction is today's youth moving in? As per your vision, what is their future? What is the right direction?
Dadashri: As there is no guidance at present for today's youth, they are experiencing suffocation. But there has never been such youth in any time cycle before. It is that they are honest and pure. All they need is for someone to guide them. If guidance is provided, then India will become alright. And soon someone who will guide them will come about.
b) Today's Generation is of a Healthy Mind
Param Pujya Dadashri says:
Questioner: What is the meaning of a healthy mind?
Dadashri: Healthy mind means that they do not care much about this is mine versus this is yours. And when we were little at the time if somebody's things were left outside then the intent to take it would arise. When we would go to have dinner at someone else's place, we would eat a little more than we eat at home. This is my discovery! If there was ever a generation with a healthy mind, then it is this generation that has come about in this current era. It has come along having become progressively healthy over time. It seems to have progressively become healthy since my time, without any attachment (mamata) at all. It will not take long for this generation to become enriched within, nor will it take long for them to imbibe moral and cultural values (sanskaar).
It is nature's grace that this generation has come about with a healthy mind! They have never come about before yet when they do they bring about the salvation of the world! They need someone to guide them.
Why do I say they have a healthy mind, it is because they become equipped with what they are taught!
c) It is the Incompetent Ones who will indeed improve with Moral Values.
Questioner: You are saying that the current generation has a healthy mind, but if you look at the flip side, aren't they all addicts and a lot more?
Dadashri: Well, it looks like they are addicts, but what if the poor fellow does not find the right path, then what would happen? Their mind is healthy.
Questioner: The children contempt their parents, they disobey their parents. That is what they have turned out like, isn't it!
Dadashri: All the contempt is because they have not found the right direction. If they find the right direction, then they are very good children!
Questioner: These children are indeed a very big problem!
Dadashri: The problem is extremely huge, but it is such a problem that can be improved on. It is only in this current era of the time cycle that such children exist, who are completely incompetent and it is only those who are incompetent that indeed improve. The competent ones do not improve. Competent people are absorbed in their own selfishness; along with that they are contempt, among other things; completely engulfed in selfishness. That is why the whole of India has deteriorated, isn't it! Instead of that, it is better to have incompetent stock. They do not care for respect (maan); they do not care for anything.
Role of Parents for Inculcating Moral Values
Ways to instill moral values in children
a) Go on spiritual retreats
Those children who are exposed to spirituality right from the young age turn out to be jewels. Only when the parents go to the spiritual centers, the children will follow. Parents should not be busy with earning money, social obligations, parties etc. They should spend time with their children.
Send them to spiritual summer camps, kids camps, which nurture good values.
b) Provide them with a good company
Try to give the children a good company/friend circle as it has a tremendous influence on them.
c) Daily Prayers instill moral values at home
Purity, within and outside, comes from the environment around. Every morning after they bathe, teach your young children to pray, ‘Please grant me and the world right intellect and salvation.’ If they do that, then it would mean that you have succeeded in instilling good values in them and you as parents are released from karmic bondage.
d) Arti (Worshipping) purifies the environment
Aarti (circulating a “diya” or lit lamp in front of deity or God with a prayer song sung at the time) is considered an important medium for the devotional worship (bhakti) of God. It is a way of showing respect and love towards God and it also pleases them. Whatever one worships that is what one will become. Doing aarti on a daily basis helps us in many ways. This is the cash bank and hence we can see immediate results.
By doing aarti, many children have improved so much that they have stopped going to movies (seek other diversions). Going to movies is no longer their prime source of enjoyment. At first, they raise problems, but after a while, they remember how good it feels to say their prayers and they respond positively.
e) You bow down to your parents every day.
Those who do not do service of their parents will not be happy in this life. What is the direct benefit of serving the parents? It is said that no suffering will come during one’s whole life, not even problems will arise, as a result of serving parents!
It is definitely worth serving the parents. Because if you do not serve them, then whose service will you get? How will the following generation learn that you are worth serving? The children observe everything. They observe that our father never served his father any day! Then he will indeed not develop the sanskar (cultural values), will he?! When you bow down to your parents, even at your age, will it not encourage your children to do the same? This is the simplest way to begin instilling moral values in your kids.
1) In a true sense, the world is not to be won. The home (family) needs to be won.
2) If your son has grown up and talks back at you, realize that he is your 'thermometer' (gauge). Where can you get a 'thermometer' to gauge how much dharma (virtues) has resulted within you? When you have a 'thermometer' at home, you do not have to go out.
3) Children are like mirrors. From them we can see the extent of our mistakes.
4) One should live life in such a way that it makes the children happy. Everyone should decide in the morning, ‘Let’s agree on not getting into clashes with anyone today.’
5) It will be fine if at times you are asleep (unaware) about the good values, but you have to be mindful of the bad values.