In the Vedic era, learning ‘Bhagavad Gita’ was divine. In the ancient era, reading didactic scriptures was done with delight. In the 20th century, Amarchitra katha and Panchatantra stories did the magic. However, sadly, in today’s time, we hardly see anyone acknowledging the Gita, reading mythology, or even caring for its moral lessons. Inculcating moral values have reduced to just one period in a week called the Moral Science Period.
In this fast-paced world, we are leaving the past inculcation behind. The values and morals that are our souvenirs now seem to be silenced due to the high demand for being practical and ‘be smart’ in the society. Nevertheless, the importance of values, morals, and ethics can never be overshadowed. The challenge is how to inculcate the moral values in our children?
Well, the solutions to instil moral values in a child are:
Be your kid’s Superhero!
Children, consciously or unconsciously, observe your actions and live up to you. Any discrepancy between what you say and what you do will nullify what you told them. Therefore, the parent should also follow “Practice what you preach” in order to teach honesty, loyalty, respect, self-reliance, self-discipline, gratitude, forgiveness, responsibility and courtesy.
Take out time for a story
One-on-one conversations with your child are often not optimum always. The other alternatives are taking out 30 minutes daily to narrate patriotic, religious or moral stories. Going back to Panchatantra ki kahaniya, Amar chitra katha, Tenali Rama stories can do wonders in imbibing values and also triggering their imagination. Question them about the lesson they have learned from the stories you tell. Let the Pandora box of morals values open and do its magic in your kid’s insight.
Let them “own up” for their blunders
Who did not spend his childhood without breaking a neighbours’ window, ringing anonymous doorbells or hitting the bicycle in the car? We all have grown up to unique incidents. But here, being a parent doesn’t mean ‘coming to rescue’. For children, it’s important to ‘own up’ their mistakes by themselves. The point is to make them realize the value of responsibility, as they need to know that bad choices result in unpleasant consequences.
Finish the line
Indulge your children into some new hobby or activity. Allow them to learn it full-fledged. The conundrum point would be when their lack of interest arises in their new projects. But even if their endeavors get tough, tiring or mundane, don’t let them halt. If your kids are committed to doing something, they need to follow through on that. You don’t want them to become quitters. Show them the end result, show them the finish line is near and encourage to ‘complete it’. In the process, they’ll develop the value of perseverance and responsibility.
Encourage them to engage and help
Encourage your child to help others whenever and wherever they can. You can also take your child to NGOs, old age homes, nursing homes, etc. This is not only a great way to serve others but your children will have the opportunity to develop and practice virtues such as generosity, kindness, compassion and respect.
The bottom line is ‘communication is the key’. It sounds clichéd, but children do grow up very fast. Talk to your children about what they did right, what they did wrong; how to make better moral decisions; how to live upon principles and ethics; why you’ve made certain choices in your own life. You need to utilize this time with your kids very wisely. Ensure you build time into your schedule for consistent, quality, face time with your kids—while they’re still kids.