Questioner: Here, living in America we have money but we are lacking in moral values. What should we do when we have to live in such an environment?
Dadashri: Parents themselves should develop moral values 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.
Parents should instill the highest moral values in their children. Many parents in USA have complained to me about their children eating meat and indulging in other unacceptable activities. I asked the parents whether they themselves indulged in similar activities and they told me that they did. I told them that children would always imitate the moral values of their parents. And sometimes the children may behave differently outside of the home also. But your duty as parents should be to instill good values in them and you must not fail in this.
You have to be careful and make sure that they do not eat non-vegetarian food. If you are eating non-vegetarian food, then after receiving this Gnan (Self-Realization Ceremony) you should stop. Children will follow your conduct.
Questioner: When these children grow up, how are we to instill our religious values in them?
Dadashri: 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 imitate and even go beyond their parents' deeds.
Questioner: Will they not receive good moral values if we place them in a good school?
Dadashri: 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 morally upright.
1) One is not to win the world, he has to win the home (family).
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.
How do I instill moral values in my kids to ensure they grow up to be good & reponsible children?
You should talk to your children every night and discuss things with them. Converse with them and explain things to them in an amicable manner. You need to pay attention to all the aspects of their development. They already have a good personality, but they need encouragement. You have to keep them in check and caution them.
Teach your children good habits. Every morning after they bathe, teach them to pray for world peace and salvation. If you can do this, it would mean that you have succeeded in instilling good values in them. Pray with them, so they will learn from you. This is your duty as a parent.
Book Name: Generation Gap (Page #1, Paragraph #1 to #3; Page #2 Paragraph #1 to #5)