Positive Parenting Tips

Should parenting values change for the new generation?

As my little one is growing up, I am having a lot of sleepless nights. The cause: what type of parenting values should I give to my child?


During my growing up years, my parents would tell:

  • Do not tell lies. The truth shall always prevail.
  • Do not think ill of others/do bad to others. What goes around comes around!
  • Don’t be selfish. Help others in need.
  • Be pleasant and friendly to everyone.
  • Respect people.
  • Share your things with others.
  • Adopt qualities like Lord Rama.

They are all sound advice and most of them still hold true in today’s world. Yes, only most of them. There are a few which need to be revised or tailored as per today’s needs. With every parenting value above, there is a clause attached.

Do no tell lies: We tell our kids not to lie ever, don’t we? But then we lie in front of them for every small thing. Like, when we skip work for one day to attend a family wedding and call up the superior saying ‘I am not well’. What sort of teaching are we giving to our child? We are teaching him to lie. Or at best, we are teaching him that such white lies are harmless, hence perfectly ok?

Do not harm anybody: What if a bully hurt your child on the playground? Will you still teach your child to not harm him? I remember my mother telling me don’t bother, God will punish him for his wrong-doing. The problem is that with today’s generation who wants results there and then, it’s cold comfort. They are not going to wait forever for the God to punish the bully.

Be pleasant and friendly: Yes, that’s a good advice. But in case, somebody is nasty to you, what then?

Learn to say ‘No’: My parents brought me up in such a way that it’s very difficult for me to say no to people and most often than not, I end up saying ‘yes’ even when I mean ‘no’. And when I do say ‘no’, I feel guilty later. I don’t want that to happen to my child. She needs to be assertive.

Respect people: Which people? We need to be very specific. Kids are very smart. Since a very young age, they start gathering a little understanding about people. Who is good, who is bad? They start forming their own opinion. It will be very difficult for him to respect someone who has been mean to you or him.

Be like Lord Rama: I am not sure if anybody says that to their kids anymore. Lord Rama is called as the ‘best among the men’ because of his (unworldly) virtues like indefinite patience, ability to forgive, keeping difficult promises, always putting others before his own needs etc. Now tell me, if you tell the kids to do that, will they?

These values look very appealing in a book, but can we live life as per bookish rules? Do these still hold as true as in the bygone era? Life is all about survival and we all know only the fittest survives. So can I take a chance with my kid being innocent, soft and emotional who gets taken for a ride?

No, I need to make her strong and street smart; a citizen of this world who:

  • Will lie if it’s absolutely necessary and doesn’t harm anybody. She should of course know the difference when and where the lie is appropriate.
  • Will be nice and respectful to people who reciprocate.
  • Will not be a softie who gets exploited for her goodness and generosity.
  • Will help people but not at the cost of her safety and security.
  • Imbibe qualities like Lord Rama. No way! Mythological characters can’t survive in the present world.

I know what I have written is controversial. But all that I have written has come from first-hand experience. A nice person is not always seen in favourable light in this world. Even though Bhagvad Gita teaches you to just do your karma or action and forget about the results; it’s really difficult to apply in your life.

Let me know your thoughts on this matter. What parenting values you are giving to your kid(s)? Are you happy with the results?

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  1. bizigal

    It is important to teach good morals and values. It is up to you to set the example.

  2. Vimal Rathinasamy

    It is hard to believe that Gita is 3500 years old as it is applicable in any era. Hope you acknowledge Lord Krishna persuading Arjuna to fight with his own kiths and kins for upholding the Dharma. Can there be anything as practical as this? Usually rigid systems say that don’t kill, don’t harm and so on! But here the Lord asks to Kill! for upholding the Truth.

    So coming to your points: if killing is not an issue to uphold the Dharma then there is no way it is a harm if you tell a lie or “Learning to say NO” or respecting or disrespecting someone etc to uphold the Truth.

    Teach your child Gita and Raja Yoga (especially Pranayama & Meditation) and let she do her duty of her choice with righteousness. She will fly high in both Worldly life and Spiritual, not to forget Krishna’s Karma yoga!!

    • Vimal Rathinasamy

      One more thing that I forgot to comment on your statement on Karma yoga not being possible in current era:

      All the methods of Gita is about transforming individuals not to rigidly dictate that one must be like that the next day or so! So it is not wrong in attaching to results in the beginning but keep in mind the temporary nature of success and defeats which repeats itself in nature as mentioned in Gita, and slowly you will get tired of this alternatives and thus eventually rise above them in due course. That day you will be master of your Karma and Success follows although you don’t attach to that any more.


    • Vimal, thanks so much for stopping by and taking out the time to read the post.

      I believe in the preaching of the Bhagvada Gita and sincerely believe that IT is the only savior for this world headed towards its doom. I am planning to introducing Gita to my child very soon. If she understands it and follows it diligently, I guess my problem is solved, and so is hers.

      Thanks once again for commenting.

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