How Much Freedom Should Kids Have?
VVS Laxman: I want to know the truth about parenting. As a child and youth, I wanted to be free, to live my life on my terms. I think it is the same for every generation. Is it okay to give our kids the freedom to make their own decisions? Where do we draw the line, or should we draw the line at all? What is your advice for us to be perfect parents?Sadhguru: Namaskaram Laxman! We have thoroughly enjoyed the skills that are hidden in your wrists – on the cricket field, of course! When it comes to parenting, this idea that we have to raise our children is a very Western idea. You only raise cattle, not human beings. You should not raise children. You just have to allow them to grow.
You just have to create an atmosphere of love, joy and responsibility. In your question, you used the word “freedom”. Freedom is a bad word that you should never utter. Nor should your children get used to the word. You must always bring into their life, a sense of responsibility for their wellbeing, health, growth and their ability to respond to every dimension of life. If the necessary responsible existence is there, freedom is a consequence.
The fundamental problem we have in the world today is that we have become goal-oriented. We are interested in the consequence, not in the process. If you want flowers in the garden, you do not talk about flowers. If you are a good gardener, you will never talk about flowers, you will talk about soil, manure, water and sunlight. If you manage these things, wonderful flowers will come.
Similarly, if you manage the conditions necessary for the beautiful blossoming of a child, then children will blossom. But if you try to raise them according to the molds that you create in your own mind, then every child will rebel because life cannot fit into the molds of the mind – mind has to fit into our life.
So leave your ideas about how to raise a child and just maintain an atmosphere of absolute love, joyfulness and responsibility. Above all, never let children see resentment, jealousy, frustration, depression, and anger in their parents. Make sure your children never witness these things at home. You will see, your children will blossom absolutely wonderfully. If you are focused on the consequence without taking care of the process, then the consequence that you desire will just be a dream. But if you take care of the process, the results will come.
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