Childhood is a time that we look back on with fondness – for the simple joys of life and freedom from responsibilities. But when we look at it deeply enough, are children really free? Or are they burdened by the expectations and impositions of the adults around them? Do we really have much to teach our children, or is there more we can learn from them?
On the occasion of Children’s Day (celebrated in India on the 14th of November each year), let’s take a look at the relationship of parent and child through Sadhguru’s eyes.
Sadhguru: If parents are truly concerned about their children, they must raise their children in such a way that the child will never have any need for the parent. The process of loving should always be liberating, not entangling. So when your children are born, allow them to look around, to spend time with nature and by themselves. Create an atmosphere of love and support. Allow them to grow, allow their intelligence to grow and help them look at life on their own terms, as human beings – not identified with the family, wealth, or anything else. Just helping them to look at life as human beings is very essential for their well being and also that of the world.
Your home should not be a place for you to impose your culture, ideas and morals upon your children. It should instead be a supportive atmosphere. If children feel most comfortable at home, they will naturally try to spend more time there than outside. Right now, a street corner may feel like a more comfortable place for them than being at home because of the impositions they face. So, if that discomfort is absent, they will not make the street corner a sanctuary. This does not mean that they are not going to be exposed to the hard realities of the world. They will be, and these realities will influence your children in some way or the other. But always, parents encouraging their children to think for themselves, to use their own intelligence to see what is best, are the greatest insurance for a child to grow up well.
Most adults assume that as soon as a child is born, it is time to become teachers. When a child enters your house, it is not the time to become a teacher; it is time to learn, because if you look at yourself and your child, your child is more joyous, isn’t it? You lived like a zombie before this little bundle of joy entered your life. Now, unknowingly, you have started laughing and singing, you crawl under the sofa along with the child. Life is happening because of them, not because of you. The only thing that you can teach your child – which you have to, to some extent – is how to survive. But a child knows more about life itself, experientially. An adult is capable of all kinds of suffering – imagined suffering. A child has still not gone to that. So it is time you learn life from them, not the other way around.
Editor’s Note: Download the ebook “Inspire Your Child, Inspire the World” for more parenting advice from Sadhguru. The book is available as “Pay As You Like.” (Set 0 for free)