Monday, January 31

Teach Kids Respect for Law

Teaching kids respect for the law is usually not a sit down and talk affair; it is more likely to be a monkey see monkey do thing. Respect for authority is learned unconsciously or imitated naturally by kids from parents and other caregivers in their young lives.

Respect for the law is learned from parents
Photograph courtesy
There was this teenage girl I know who used to pocket pens in shop counters after signing a receipt. These are not spectacular pens but often scratchy worthless objects minutes away from their eternal rest in landfills. When asked why she did it, she just turned around and said, "But Daddy does it all the time!"

Thursday, January 13

Respect For Other Cultures

Multicultural societies are the norm these days and this can sometimes ask for a great deal of broadmindedness in societies that have been traditionally more or less unicultural. It is only natural that various prejudices, misunderstandings, and xenophobic attitudes come to the fore in such societies contributing to racism. These feelings may even be termed instinctual reactions to what is commonly seen as the intrusion of the other. But civilized societies have to take a stand against racism and guard against it. Racism is basically a lack of understanding of a race other than one's own, and the reaction to this ignorance in the form of fear and anger. If we can replace this ignorance with understanding, then there's no room for those negative reactions.   

Sunday, January 9

God and Spirituality--A Belief That Anchors

Whether you're a believer who practices some form of religion, or a non-believer, or neither, in the sense you couldn't care less about these things, you would be setting your child adrift on a turbulent ocean, if you have not inculcated in him a belief in a higher power—a power that supports, protects, calms, loves

God and Spirituality-a belief that anchors
Photograph courtesy

If you practice a religion and believe in it, you should pass on your beliefs to your children. If you don't follow or practice any form of organized religion, you owe it to yourself and to your kids, to develop your spirituality independent of any religious beliefs. Self-help books and religious texts help in this endeavour.

Since spirituality is often associated with organized religion, those that are disillusioned with the latter easily reject the former. Life's dramatic turns often tip us over the edge into questioning the existence of God and seek comfort in atheism. 

But if you are looking for an old man in the sky with a flowing beard armed with a scroll filled with your misdemeanours and a thunderbolt ready to strike random bad guys; you're right, he does not exist.

Organized religions are culpable to a certain extent in popularising such views in the public consciousness and labelling it God. 

If, on the other hand, we were to wonder as to the power that makes a bud bloom, the informed aesthetics that adds iridescence to a bird's wings and brings forth a rainbow where there was none, the wisdom that forms mountains and oceans and keeps the earth in its orbit for zillion years, the quiet contemplation of that power is prayer and the object of that prayer is God.

Spiritual development is possible in the structured environs of religion; it is also possible without it. But deciding it is not relevant or at least not as important as wealth or fame is a massive fallacy. 

Spirituality is also a kind of prosperity just as wealth and fame are. The only difference being that it is eternal while the other two are destructible and ephemeral in the larger scheme of things. 

Spirituality is also power, a resilience that will prevent you snapping in half when all around you are broken.

When young, kids have unlimited access to parents and caregivers when faced with problems. This ceases as they grow and if it is not replaced with another source of strength, they may succumb to feelings of helplessness and weakness. 

God and Spirituality
Photograph courtesy Mary R.
Depending totally on your capabilities, wealth, or intelligence can make life an uphill task; whereas a firm belief in a benevolent higher power makes life that much more bearable and eminently livable.

Wednesday, January 5

Amazing Earth Facts and Kids-Teach Respect For the Earth

Our home planet is an awesome subject that will be of immense fascination for kids. Adults who take it for granted often fail to appreciate it and automatically pass this state of mind on to their children. It's never too late to start on a journey of discovery of this wonderful abodeof mountains, rivers, glaciers, oceans, forests, waterfalls, volcanoes, and canyons. Just think for a moment that all these amazing things are just air, earth, water, and fire in various combinations. 

amazing earth facts help children respect planet earth