As per Indian ancient Tradition, a child up to five years should be treated as God, and from five to ten it should be treated as servant and after sixteen we should treat him/her as a friend. See the below sloka (verse) from 'Neeti Sastra':
"Bhagavatpancha varshani, dasa varshani daasavath,
Praptetu shodase varshe, putram mitra vada chareth."
It is a valuable advice applicable even today. Up to five years, we should keep the surroundings of the child clean and neat as if it is a secured place. This may be to protect the child from infection. Even our behavior and talks before the child should also be pious, because the effects of surroundings will make impressions on the tender mind, which may expose and show their results at his/her advanced age. There are proofs for it in Indian epics like Bhagavat and Mahabarat. Prahlad learnt devotion and Abhimanyu learnt war strategy while they were in their mothers’ wombs. By this we should know that even when a lady is pregnant, we should not talk rubbish before her. It seems that the modern people have also understood this, and that is why we find some special centers opened in cities where proper training is imparted to the pregnant women regarding their behavior during pregnancy apart from medical checkups.
After 5 years of age, the child becomes a school going boy/girl and receives instructions from parents and teachers. At this stage the boy/girl becomes helpful to the parents in day to day routine house hold activities. A girl child may assist her mother in cooking; a boy may go for shopping of certain petty things. This and that they will do according to the orders of parents. But a father should not send the boy to bring beedies, cigarettes, gutka packets etc., Parents should think at least once while entrusting work to the children. In some rich families the parents may feel that they need not ask the children to do any thing for them. But they should feel it as their responsibility to treat them as servants for the children’s benefit. At this stage the children learn how to live in this world in future.
After 10 years of age, the boy/girl begins to think individually. While doing so he/she may do some wrongs and rights. Here the parents have to correct them and guide properly. If the boy/girl do some thing good, the parents should appreciate them and even they can offer some gifts for promoting the good attitude of the boy/girl. For example if the boy/girl helps an old man to cross the road or he/she may expend his/her pocket money to dress up a wounded classmate, then the parents or the teacher should appreciate and encourage the boy/girl, even if there are some losses in doing so. We should not feel for it, instead we should feel proud of it.
If the boy shows interest in games it is better to encourage him. In case when boy/girl shows interest in a particular subject, do not divert him/her. Let him/her study according to his/her own zeal, but not according to the vested interest of the parents. Otherwise the boy/girl may get disgusted and develop suicidal tendency. Now a days we are frequently coming across so many cases where the parents are forcing the children to study only a particular subject thinking that their age is not sufficient to take a decision. This is not right. By such forceful attitude we get only negative results. So better try to plan the children’s future according to their interest.
One more thing we should pay interest is Ethical values. Unethical attitude should be curbed at seedling stage itself. We should aspire that our children should become good citizens, patriots and pious minded. Otherwise they will be of no use to the parents in their old age or to the Nation. Making them mere money minting machines is not good in any aspect. Because of our greediness we encourage our children for malpractices (Ex: - Some Parents themselves are engaged in supplying copy chits to their children in the examination halls) thinking that we should keep them in higher positions somehow. But in return they will become dishonest and inhuman citizens and spoil all the fields’ viz., politics, business, services etc., during their life.
Now-a-days we generally throw blame on the youngsters saying that they are spoilt and non-courteous to parents. But for that, the responsibility lies with parents only. They are sending the parents to Old Age Homes means; it is the result of the parents brought up only. So be cautious and see that our child should become a man with humanity rather than making him a mint where coins are molded.
After sixteen the boy/girl develops decision making capacity. Discriminating faculty dawns in them. But they lack in experience. So as a parent one has to guide him/her with proper advice. The boy/girl may hesitate to approach the parents for each and everything. He/she will be afraid thinking that his/her father may find fault with him/her. So the father must develop a friendly atmosphere in between him and his son/daughter. Free and frank discussions between son/daughter and father will make a family cool and happy. Our thinking may differ with our children. But think a minute. Our resolutions may be right, but they may not be suitable to this present time. We might have solved so many problems with our decisions. But that is past. Now the same decision may not work out for the same problem now arisen. So to the extent possible let the boy/girl solves his/her problems with his/her own talent. But we must watch and advise them whenever he/she goes out of the way.
Most of the parents are admitting their children in corporate colleges by paying huge amount towards fees bearing so many financial difficulties with a fond hope that they may become Doctors/Engineers/Officers etc., and feel that their responsibility is over. They are forgetting that the age between l6 and 20 is the turning point in their children’s life. During this period if they have friends with good habits, they will also become good citizens, otherwise they will be spoiled. There are so many activities where the students participate with their friends viz., seeing bad films, viewing obscene pictures in Internet cafes, taking intoxicated drinks and participating in ragging etc., will spoil their carrier even without their awareness. So the parents must keep an eye on their children (who are away from them), by frequently visiting their hostels and enquiring about their behavior and studies from the concerned institutions apart from enquiring about the comforts given to their children in the said institutions.
The govt. is also not taking sufficient interest on the welfare of the students. So many punishments are there for the culprits. This is like giving a medicine after the attack of a deadly disease. But we should know that prevention is better than cure. Juvenile homes are full with the children below 16 who committed crimes. This is only due to non-injecting the moral values in to the minds of children from their school life.AT any cost we should save our children from the present bad environment. The Govt. should also see that importance should be given to introduce at least a class in each day relating to spiritual and moral values from school education itself so that the future will be filled up with responsible, honest, pious and good citizens for the country. There is no other good option like this before us. To tell the truth the expenditure incurred on school education by the Govt. is not at all an expenditure, but it is an investment for future of the Nation.
The proverb ‘Child is the father of man’ is right and yes, a seed is the mother of a tree. If the seed is good, automatically the tree will become a good fruit bearing. Similarly the personality of a person definitely depends upon his childhood. But some people say that nothing depends upon us. It all depends on jeans and some may say that it is all his fate or karma. May be, but we cannot throw everything on fate or karma and escape from our responsibility. Even karma theory also tells that we should not neglect our duty. So let us do our duty as a best parent and leave the result to God. There is another proverb ‘God helps to those, who helps themselves’. Forget not this. The karma theory also says that by neglecting our duty, we have to reap its consequences (karma phala bhoga). So we must be dutiful always.
Courtesy: Sri. P. Subbaruyudu and Sri. B.E. Sampath Kumar