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How to teach moral values to children?

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.

nature of youth

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:

  • Nowadays the generation is broad-minded. It is not like the narrow-minded, petty and superstitious generations that preceded it. In comparison, this generation is open and receptive and healthy minded.
  • They come with clean accounts from the previous life. They have no greed and care little about false pride and validation.
  • Their only weakness is their fascination for the material world, obsessed with material things.
  • Keep positive intents (bhaav) for your children. This will bring good results. They will change for the better and this will happen naturally. Today’s generation is the best that has ever been.
  • They may seem addicted, but only because they do not find the right path for themselves. It is no fault of theirs. They do have healthy minds.

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!

  • They do not have old ailments. They look for food when they are hungry, nothing else.
  • They do not have an attachment (Mamata) in them, so if his father is trying to sell his home, even then he is not concerned. Whereas, in the olden days he would tell his father, “You are not to sell it.” At present, they have a healthy mind, without attachment.
  • So they will become however one moulds them.

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

  • Due to lack of proper guidance, the youth has turned selfish and has a very self-centered view of life. Do not abandon children to fate, ever. Take care of them and keep an eye on them. If you abandon them, there will be no hope for them. Children bring with them their personalities at birth, but you have to help and nurture them so that they flourish.
  • Children will only receive good values from their parents. They may receive some from their teachers, friends, peers and other people around them but the major part will come from the parents. Only when the parents are morally upright, do their children also become ethically upright.
  • Children will learn whatever they see in you. So, if you become religious, they will too. They learn from watching you. If you smoke, they will do the same. If you drink alcohol or eat meat, they will too. Whatever you do, they will imitate. They want to mimic and even go beyond their parents' deeds.
  • Parents themselves should develop moral ethics that result in a loving family environment. The love from parents should be such that their children would not want to leave them. If you want to improve your child, the responsibility lies with you. You are bound by your duty to your child.
  • The only obligation parents have towards their children is that they should have inner intent (bhaavna) of instilling such values that they do not go on to the bad path. Then the result is your karmic effect (heesab).
  • Good moral values are instilled if parents live in penance.
  • Parents should never fight, divisiveness should not be created. If divisiveness does occur, then they should turn it around. Children will say, ‘Wow! How well do our parents live with each other!

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.

  • Our mind remains focused and the entire day is peaceful.
  • It immediately removes adverse thoughts (that negatively affect self and others) from our minds.
  • Worries relating to situations or problems disappear.
  • There are no conflicts or arguments at home.
  • It purifies our environment and fills it with bliss.
  • We all attain good moral values like honesty, sincerity, etc.

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.

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