10 Feb Q&A on “Bringing Up Children” at the Satsang (10th Feb 2013)
The topic for the Hindi Satsang on Sunday, 10th February, 2013 was ‘Bringing Up Children.’
Following is the transcript of the Q & A between the audience and Smt. Hansaji Yogendra.
Smt. H: It is wrong to have expectations in the first place. You do your duties and have patience. The right thing will happen at the right time. If the child speaks some wrong word, don’t make a very big issue out of it. He might have been upset at the time. Never react when the child is saying or doing something wrong. Handle it coolly and later when we are sitting and talking and discussing, at that time this point can be brought up and handled.
Smt. H: Personally I feel ‘no’. When you have a baby, I feel that’s the best opportunity for you to grow with the child and inculcate all those qualities that yoga talks of – Yama, Niyama, Asanas, Pranayamas. If one out of the two parents is earning while the other takes care of the house, the children and people in the house, it will be better management. Otherwise, if you are in a joint family where the child is taken care of by other family members, this change can be made, but leaving the child with servants is not right. A good life can be lived with little money also, so keep your desires to the minimum. A simple life will do good for the child also.Q. Children have many mood disorders. How to counsel them?
Smt. H: I would rather use the word ‘togetherness’ than ‘counselling’. If the family can decide a fixed time each day to spend time together and talk of what happened during the day and try and solve problems together, it would work wonders. But reaction should stop. Let the child also experience certain things and learn what is wrong and what is right. You can take the child to good places. For example, Taruna (a student of the Institute) brought children here to The Yoga Institute to learn from other teachers. When kids start going to school, the teacher becomes their role model. They learn better from others than from their parents.
Q. How to deal with hyperactive kids and also kids who are disobedient towards their parents.
Smt. H: These days all children are hyperactive. If you see a sonography, even in the womb the child moves around and has fully developed brain. Even when they are born, they are very active and alert. Now the times have changed and children grow up also very fast. We have to be patient and be there for the child. Yoga techniques like standing on one leg, can be played like a game with them or blowing candles as breathing exercise to stabilize their breath, fill up a glass with water till the brim and make them walk with it without letting it spill. These will help improve their concentration and you should do it yourself too along with them. It is not easy for a child to sit in one place for one hour, but if he is kept busy with some interesting activity like drawing, it can be possible. Research says children can hold their attention on one activity for only 8 minutes. So keep giving them different activities. But if you are playing along with your child, it would really make an impact.
Q. How to deal with peer pressure after the age of 15 years when he/she enters college?
Smt. H: After 15 years, you should be friends of your child and discuss and show the child that earning money is quite a thing and money should be respected and used appropriately. So if you have more money, don’t put it into your life, let it be in the bank or other circulation. If the child sees that there is enough money, he would never develop qualities like working hard, studying hard, etc. Children spoil very fast. Even if you have a car, travel with them once in a while in rickshaw or walk, etc. I remember when my son Patanjali was small, it had rained and there were puddles. We both began breaking bricks and filling the puddles with brick powder to even it out. The gardener asked me why I let my child do such work as he thought it was lowly work. There is nothing wrong in making the pathway of our own house. So I told him we love it and that is why we are doing the work. We should teach them to love the work. My son has learnt the use of bricks and cement and even cleaned our gutters when they were choked. Once there was a dead dog outside our Institute and the municipal people refused to take it, others demanded money to remove it. Seeing this, Patanjali himself put the dog in a plastic bag, put it in garbage and cleaned the place with phenyl. Seeing him, one or two students of the Institute also helped him and the job was done. So we should teach children to respect every type of work and every human being. So being rude with servants, etc. would not happen. When parents also practice it, it can be inculcated in the child.
Satsang is an open meeting held every Sunday from 9:30 to 10:30 am at The Yoga Institute, Santacruz East, Mumbai. It involves an interesting presentation to the public, made by the students of the Teacher Training Course. Each week, a new presentation of a Yogic concept is made in a simple way through skits and decoration for the general public, followed by a short speech from our Gurus, Dr. Jayadeva and Smt. Hansaji Yogendra.