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Do you remember a story from our Panchatantra books about “The Cap Seller and The Monkeys”?

It is a famous moral story, in which the monkeys got attracted to the colorful caps, took and started playing with them while the cap seller fell asleep while taking rest under the tree. When he woke up he was shocked to see the monkeys playing and wearing the caps. He got very angry, started yelling at them to return his caps. The monkeys imitated the cap seller. He realized the monkeys copied whatever he did and had an idea of throwing the cap from his head. Seeing him, all the monkeys threw the caps down. The cap seller gathered all the caps and left happily.

Now, have you ever observed your little ones copying you in some way or the other? I can guarantee the answer as “YES”. Hence, the theme of my post.

On many occasions, I have seen my daughter Rija behaving or doing exactly the same way as Rajesh and I behave or do. As I am recalling here are few instances that I would like to share and in turn those were eye opener for us.

Some learnings (not so happy moments)…

1) Once Rija was throwing tantrums and her hand hit a beautiful crystal vase that fell and broke to pieces. Our anger had no limit and we shouted and yelled at her as if that vase was our life rather than that girl who was so scared standing with tears in her eyes. Ultimately, she snapped back, raised her voice, banged her room and went inside. Whole house atmosphere got ruined in a fraction of a second.

We stood there speechless and later decided not to raise our voice at her ever. There are ample of other ways to convey our message.

2) I was on my mobile (read ‘media screen’) exchanging texts and messages, watching some forwarded videos and all that useless stuff. Simultaneously, telling Rija to stop watching rhymes in ipad (‘screen’ again) and that is bad for her eyes and health. Listening to my ‘gyan’ she reverted with a broad grin, “Aap bhi mat dekho, your eyes will also get spoiled”.

My eyes rolled as an expression of disbelief and immediately I checked my action, put my mobile aside and told her “let’s read a story, fetch your book from your mini library”. She happily agreed.

Since then, I have timeboxed her time for cartoon/screen watching.

3) Once she caught me biting nails and playing with my hair as I was in some deep thought, she said, “Mumma, stop. It’s wrong. Germs will enter your body”. She repeated the same statement I told her once.

Some good ones (happy moments) also…

1) Whenever we are reading books, she will get her books and sometimes ours also and start flipping the pages and insists us to read for her.

2) While our mediation or chanting session, she will be at pin drop silence. Rather, one day I saw her holding some toy beads from her pouch. I asked her what are doing. She said I am chanting before sleep, the way you do.

3) She watches carefully how we talk to our helpers, domestic maid, janitor lady, car cleaner etc. I am happy to tell that she greets them ‘Namaste’ with a smile, says ‘Thank you’ for their services and shows respect. She watches when we give them food, money or goodies. She is ok to part away with her toys; she is ok to give her favorites. A kindness gesture which our Master, our Swamiji is teaching us.

4) Every now and then she is calling kids with whom she plays for evening snacks or other goodies. She asks, “Can they have dinner with us, mumma?”, “If you have prepared burger, can I call my friends?”, “I want to invite them for my birthday party”. Actually, those kids are of our household helpers who stay with us in our quarters.

Did you see how at every moment our kids copy us, imitate us, try to be what we are, what we eat, how we eat, how we behave with others, how do we dress up, how we speak, WHAT WE DO.

It’s time for us to become “Smart parents, with mindful parenting”.

Can you guess who inspired me to write about this, today? Here is a clue in the picture below.

Kids 2

All glories to HIM. I pray Swamiji to keep us under His umbrella and holding our hands and guiding us in our path; forgiving us for our shortcomings.

For those who wish to read, Swamiji has authored this beautiful book “THE CHILDREN OF TOMORROW” on mindful parenting.

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Ritu Om Chatterjee

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