“කරුණාව සමග හොඳහිත පතුරන්න ලෝකයේ සැම කෙරේ...හැමදාම ඉන්න පුලුවනි සතුටින්ම ලෝකයේ”
You may have heard the lyrics of this Sinhala song in your childhood. Loosely translated, it conveys a beautiful message. “ Share your kindness and good will with the whole world, so that you can enjoy and be happy in the world”
Little children are soft and tender like a flower. They are loved by all due to their innocence and purity, which draws people to them. With time, children that are born and raised with this softness and tenderness could end up losing their beautiful childhood behaviour once as they grow up and learn various habits and behaviours. However, if you can help develop a child instilled with a loving and kind character, you will help them live a happy and fulfilled life when they go out into the world.
A child is like a diamond, and is precious to their parents. This sometimes results in parents failing to see and acknowledge that their children have bad behavior, sometimes tolerating them. You need to remind yourself that although you as a parent may tolerate your child’s bad behaviour, the world will not. Your child might have to learn that in a harsh way, so isn’t it best if you help them overcome these bad habits at a younger age? They will then be loved not just by yourself but by society as well. After all everyone likes a person who is pleasant to be around and who does not harass others. We need our children to become a blessing to their parents as well as society, so you can make their life happy. How do we build up a child who can live happily?
Teach kindness by example
Kindness cannot be injected into a child like medicine. Just as a child needs tender loving care, they also need kindness in their lives. A child receives their first lesson about kindness from their parents. The kindness shown by their parents to elders in the family, neighbours, animals and even trees, will help develop the same kind traits in the child.
Encourage patience by calming the mind
Children’s hearts are soft and pure as flowers. Sadly, the child's pure heart can be easily influenced by various factors outside of our control. They become impatient, learn disruptive behaviors and definitely are not used to thinking ahead. Controlling their feelings and actions through patience is very much alien to their growing minds. For this reason, it is important to help your children learn to control their minds to keep it peaceful. The modern world today has also accepted that we need to teach our children to have this calm presence of mind, where they learn to be conscious about their actions. There’s no specific age or intelligence level you need to wait for to train this habit. In other words you can start teaching them from their toddler age.
The main reason for behavioural problems in children today is the lack of impulse control. We hear these sayings quite often: “I could not tolerate any further”, “ I don’t know what came over me”. We need to teach our children that it's these times where you feel you can’t bear it further that you need to exercise more patience. However if you as parents show lack of control and act on your impulses, you will not be successful in teaching your children to control themselves. This is because children learn so much from examples and behaviors rather than what is being told. You love your little one don’t you? Show patience and self control through your own behaviour, you will then be able to help your little one become a beautiful gem.
A little child’s world will be limited to the interactions they have with their class friends, teachers or family. We as parents need to help them learn how to behave in the society, without being a hindrance or trouble to others and to live in harmony with various other kids. Don’t think they are too small to understand these concepts and wait till they grow older. The little lesson you teach them when they are small can go a long way in help shape their thinking and actions. Similarly little bad habits you tolerate or ignore can grow into big issues.
Build spiritual values
As loving parents, another way to ensure your child’s lasting happiness is to inculcate a strong spiritual value system. In fact, a recent study has shown that children who are raised with religious or spiritual beliefs have better mental health when they become adults and reported greater life satisfaction in their 20’s (Source:www.forbes.com). Whatever religion you follow, the philosophy behind the religion will be to develop our spiritual values.
It is important to teach our children important life skills such as kindness, patience, impulse control, living in harmony and spiritual values. This will be a useful compass for them, and will help them lead a happy, satisfied, and fulfilled life.