I was reading the article of a beautiful and blessed soul Riya “Just a message.” In this beautiful article Ms. Riya has drawn some light upon how much hurt words can do in someone’s life or their mindset.
I thought about myself and concluded that when it comes to outsiders or colleagues I always mind my words. (Okay! not always but most of the time:)
Now since I follow Respected Swamiji and I am aware of his teachings I feel like I am more aware of not hurting anyone, be it with words or anything else. Sometimes I fail sometimes I succed but I try to do my best.
But here I want to discuss the same topic but for a specific area. A very specific relationship.
A parent and children relationship and use of words.
Words like ‘you idiot’, ‘ you moron’, ‘go to hell’, ‘go die’, ‘ when I will die then you will understand’, ‘why didn’t you die when you were born’, ‘ see XYZ’s son’, ‘you can’t even do one right thing’, ‘you don’t know how to speak to your parents’, ‘you are spoiled’, ‘when God will give you the same pain then you will understand’, ‘why don’t you do something for your complexion? or ‘you are good for nothing’……. The list can be endless.
I am not saying that every parent uses these words/sentences but many do, I did, also I have seen some doing it.
Why do we do this?
We as a parent, we think that whatever we think is ‘The Right Thing’ for our children. We think that our truth is their truth and our decisions should be their decisions (of course not all the parents do it and of course we don’t do it all the time). But we do think that our children should do exactly as we tell them to do. In this rigidity of thoughts sometimes when children don’t follow what we have told them to do, we get irritated and we choose words which can be hurtful.
We think that our children will not survive in this world if they will not take our “precious suggestions’ also we think that the whole load of their future is on our shoulders. We can’t even stand the idea of letting them go in the world on their own and let them fail or succeed and learn from life. And in that anxiety we choose words we should not.
I am not suggesting that we should treat our children like princes or princesses, or that we shouldn’t guide them. I wish to convey that we should not use words, which we regret later. Once said, it is gone already, you can not erase it. It may create a lifelong wound on your child’s heart.
As Riya said in her post that “We really don’t know what’s going in their lives”. In our own hustle and bustle of life sometimes we lose sight of their feelings and believe me, we really don’t know what’s going on in their life.
Basically due to our fears we use words which can hurt those sensitive (let me use, very very sensitive) hearts.
What can we do instead?
With our conditioned mind we think that our kids should act _ think_ behave in a certain way, which is not possible always. As making them a ‘Robot’ is not possible, making them an exact replica of our imagination is also not possible. It creates frustration.
Here is something we can do,
Mindfulness: First of all we must be mindful of words we choose. In place of negativity choose motivating words. Our words of anger, sadness or shouting can not do what a simple genuine pat on back or a simple smile can do.
Stop: Whenever we encounter any negative thought about our child/ teenager we must stop that thought right there.
Accept: We must accept them first, if they have dark complexion, if they are not very smart, if they are not very intelligent, if they are not good in games or studies, still they are the apple of our eyes. We can make certain rules regarding their daily schedule of exercise/games/studies (keep it simple and doable) instead of cursing them. Make sure you are firm and affirmative on these schedules.
Trust: Work hard to build that relationship where they can trust you. They must know this fact that you love them unconditionally and you are with them no matter what. Even if they have made a grave mistake they can always come to you to seek help. Tell them that everybody makes mistakes and it is okay to make a mistake and learn from it and never repeat the same mistake.
Surrender: This is neither last nor the least. Although we gave birth to them but we did not create them. A child is a great miracle of God. Few minutes before the birth of a child God fills milk in the mother’s breasts, isn’t it miraculous? This vast universe is taking care of animals, plants and of course all of us. We are standing on this earth which rotates roughly 1,000 miles per hour on its axis.
Let’s do our best and then surrender to the one who is far beyond our perception.
I met Swamiji when my kids were in their teenage. I was a very confused mother. I was never mindful when I chose words to deal with difficult situations with my kids. I am still work in process but I am happy that I have a very lovely bond with my children.
Out of above five things I have only followed two- Accept and Trust. I wish I had met Swamiji before, I could have practiced Mindfulness of words and Surrender to the Almighty too. I still struggle with stopping a negative thought when it comes to the safety of my daughter as she loves to travel alone, but I let her go with some smart safety precautions.
I have always encouraged my children to have courage to speak the truth. I have explained them the connection of telling the truth to me and their safty. Also the connection of truth and concience.
In our mind we think that we are the greatest wellwishers of our children, how can we hurt them? No doubt about it that we are their greatest wellwishers, then why not think about their feelings and just be with them no matter what happens. At least we can choose positive words.
Being a teacher for the last 22 years and a mother for the same time period, I can say without any doubt that the optimum impact a child gets on every aspect of his/her life and mind is our words and our actions.
As Gurudev says, you do what you say. If you want to inculcate some virtues in your child you must practice it first.
I have shared my personal experience with you. I also have made some mistakes, many times I lost control of my mind in anger and did not censor my words, I regretted later. Children in this day and age are very intelligent and sensitive. We should treat them as a soul which is like a pure clean slate with some intrinsic characteristics and natural instincts. Our Gurudev has written a book on parenting, I am sharing a link here: “The Children of Tomorrow”. I am blessed to have Him as my Gurudev and living God in my blessed life. All love, positivity and mindfulness I experience is because of Him only.