Education begins at home. To be able to raise a child who is not only intellectual but also compassionate, who is not only smart but kind, who is not only courageous but self-disciplined, who is not only honest but also humble is what every parent wishes for. It’s never too early to start forming good habits.
Sharing with you all the three R’s, the basic values we are trying to inculcate in our son from early on
Respect: Respect for everyone regardless of age, gender or profession. To raise a kind and compassionate child, they need to treat everyone with the same amount of respect. They need to see you doing the same.
- We do not yell or scream at each other. Anytime Rey raises his volume to gain attention, we simply request him (in a calm tone) to speak gently and the minute he does it, we acknowledge with a response.
- Anytime, anyone comes knocking on the door – be it the sweeper or the courier guy or our house help, we ensure to thank them for their help. If Rey is around when they arrive, we ask him too to say Thank You to them for helping us out.
- We ensure we and Rey say hi or jai to people we meet, from relatives to neighbors to society guards. There are times when he is not in the mood to do so, then we wait a few minutes, let him get comfortable and request again.
- Our day starts with a prayer and thanking the almighty for all that we have.
- Watering the plants – not plucking flowers or leaves – teaches him to respect nature
- Be compassionate towards animals – it helps that we have extended family who have pets at home.
Be Responsible – A child who learns to take care of himself and his belongings turns out to be a more responsible and self-disciplined human being. It’s easy to get swayed by the love we have for our children and pamper them. However, it is also important to realize that always picking up after your child is not the only way to show love.
- Small things like not relying on the house-help or nanny to do your work goes a long way. We encourage Rey to keep his dishes in the sink. He does so many times, though it is usually accompanied by a loud noise (he does a basketball throw as he isn’t tall enough to reach the sink yet)
- Recently (maybe 2 months now), I got wall shelves installed in Rey’s play room. It not only helps me keep his toys and books organized, it also serves another purpose. Everytime Rey asks for a new book to read or another toy to play with, I make him hand me the one he was playing with. I explain to him that I’ll keep the toy (one he is not playing with any longer) back before I give him the new one. Now whenever Rey wants a new toy, he himself hands over the old one and asks me to “peep it bat” translated from toddler lingo – its, yes, Keep It Back. 🙂
- Don’t let them take the easy route out. I do not jump to help Rey whenever I see he needs help. Let the child make an effort.
- Many more examples – bottom line, they will do as they teach them to do.
Relationships – Families that value each other, stay together. We are living in the times when people are more concerned about themselves than others, neighbours kill each other over parking slots, even families shatter and break at the most trivial of issues, it is important to keep your close ones close. Teach the children to value and respect family. And this can happen only if you speak positively about family members to them.
- We ensure Rey spends time with family as and when possible. We take him to his Nani-Nanu’s (maternal grandparents) house at least twice or thrice in a month which includes a short stay as well.
- He spends quality time with his uncles and aunts and we try and meet them often. He is as fond of them as they are of him.
- He is an only child and we try to get Rey to meet and spend time with his big bro #Keebomiester and baby bro (cousins). Being children, they bond well and we hope we can keep this bond as strong once they grow up.
It is said that by the time a child is 5 or 6 years old, they start differentiating between right and wrong. They look up to their parents (who play a dominant role in modeling the child’s personality) and follow in their footsteps.
Children see, children do. I do not tire of quoting this line. Children emulate what their parents and family members do. So as a child’s biggest influencers, we need to practice what we preach to our children.
I would love to know what are the basic human values you swear by? How are you teaching them to your children?