Related Questions

What to do when your children make mistakes?

When children make mistakes or do something wrong, the proper way would be to ask him in a friendly concerning tone, ‘My dear, did you think about what you are doing?’ and ‘does it seem appropriate to you?’ If they say no, then you can ask them ‘why they continue to do so’. They are capable of judgment and understanding. They instinctively know when they do something wrong. But when you begin to criticize them, they will rebel and become indignant.

Speak in such a way that the other person's ego does not arise. When you speak to your children, do not use an authoritative tone. Use a tone that will help them learn from mistakes that they have committed.  When Param Pujya Dadashri speaks to people, their ego is not stirred because His speech is free from ego and His tone is not commanding.

Param Pujya Dadashri explains that you can mold your children the way you want to until they are fifteen years old.

Here are some ways to mold the child so that they learn from their childhood mistakes:

  • To win their love and confidence in you - Listen to them and say something in agreement or keep mum but don’t jump to conclusion and oppose him for daily interaction like:  
    1. When the child comes from school and says - ‘Oh, I am tired today and there is so much homework,’ then just say something like ‘Oh!, you had a busy day!’
    2. When the child comes in angry or in sulking mood and says - ‘Oh, I don’t like her, she cheats,’ then just say ‘Oh, even I don’t like when someone cheats’. Instead, sometimes we get emotional and scold them saying, ‘You see, you should not cheat’ or ‘You also cheat at times. 
  • Scold without spoiling your facial expressions. Scolding a child is an art. Keep your facial expressions pleasant and scold! If you can do this, it means you are scolding dramatically, and it will not hurt his ego, but it will convey the message to the child. On the other hand, if your facial expressions spoil, it means that you are scolding through the ego, and this will make the child retaliate.
  • Scolding without prejudice is useful. The words we use like ‘you always upset me!’, ‘you never listen to me!’, ‘I don’t want to tell you anything!’, and so on, are all ‘extra items’ that show your prejudice when your children make mistakes.
  • Never label or tag your child - like ‘you are a fool, you are always careless, you always cheat, you never study, you are useless, you are fat,’ and so on. The behavior is temporary, but the label would remain forever with him. Such negative words always hurt due to which they will never learn from mistakes.
  • Whenever you want to say something important don’t tell immediately when the incident has happened. Wait for the situation to calm down, for at least 24 hours, as it will allow you to handle the situation without getting emotional.
  • What you consider as a mistake is essential - like the small daily stuff of not keeping the room clean or not waking up early - are not mistakes. An issue in the matter which shapes his character or future is to be considered a mistake. And that too, you can talk about it once in a few months and not every other day.

In below discourse Param Pujya Dadashri explains - How to talk to the child so he grows up to be balanced person?

Nurture the child with love

Questioner: If someone is doing something wrong and you comment on his negative actions to help him but instead the comment hurts him, how can that problem be solved?

Dadashri: There is no problem in cautioning him, but you should know how to do it.

Questioner: How should we tell him?

Dadashri: If you tell your son, ‘You are a donkey. You have no sense,’ his ego will be hurt. Does he also not have an ego? If your boss were to tell you the same words at work, how would you feel? You cannot use such words. You should know how to caution him.

Questioner: How should we do it?

Dadashri: Sit down with him and tell him gently that civilized and respectable people do not do such things. Talk to him gently and lovingly. But instead what you do is beat him and scold him. How can this be acceptable?

Without love, there can be no solutions, especially when children make mistakes. Even when you grow a plant, you have to nurture it with love. Merely pouring water over it and shouting at it will not do it. If done with love, if you talk to it with love, it will give you nice big flowers! So imagine how much more it can affect humans!

Irritation creates demerit karma for the next life

Questioner: There are lots of responsibilities in life and it is our duty to carry them out. In the process of carrying out these responsibilities, occasionally some harsh words have to be used. Is that considered a sin, demerit karma?

Dadashri: What is the expression on your face when you utter these words? Is it like a beautiful rose? If there is disgust on your face, understand that you have hurt the other person and created demerit karma. You should say what you have to say with calm and poise, without using bitter words.

When children make mistakes, speak calmly and with understanding and love, using only a few words and one day, you will win him over. If you use harsh words, he will become confrontational and you will bind negative karma. The child will also bind negative karma; he will think, ‘You can abuse me while I am young, but I will take care of you when I grow up’. So do not do such things. Make him understand instead. Love will win one day. You will not reap its rewards immediately. Continue your love for a month and then see its results.

Questioner: What should we do if he does not understand, even though we try our best to explain things to him?

Dadashri: There is no need to explain. Just love him. But you should also gently try to make him understand. Do we use such bitter language with our neighbors?

Parents should play their role to the fullest

Dadashri: A bank manager once told me, “Dadaji, I have never said a single word to my wife or my children, no matter what they say or do wrong, I do not say anything.” He looked so self-assured, thinking that perhaps I would applaud him for his nobility. But instead I said, “Who on earth made you the manager of a bank. You do not even know how to manage your own family! You are the ultimate fool on this planet. You are useless!” He was shocked. Did he expect a medal for this? Your child does something wrong, you have to ask him, ‘why did you do this? From now on don’t do things like this’ you have to scold him dramatically  and convincingly; otherwise he will think that whatever he did was correct because his father condones it. Because he never said anything, his household was in ruins. You have to say everything, but dramatically, as if you are in a play on the stage of this world. He should play his role to its fullest, but without any attachment and abhorrence.

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