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June 24, 2012 / Gul Malani

Awareness, Fear & Seeding of Desires

Bringing up our children can be simplified as permitting our children to remain as long and as often in the present moment and making them aware of what is going on within them as well as outside them! This applies to us adults as well. More details can be had from the blog .

Awareness and acceptance of the child’s emotions by the parents helps build strength in the child. Instead of chiding the child that it is crying and only babies cry, we need to say ‘ I understand you are sad and so you are crying’ and give the child love by cuddling up with him/her and give him/her the security to cry when it is feeling sad! Emotions have to be expressed for good and clean living. This includes being angry, jealous, sad, happy etc. The only thing that the child has to learn is to be aware that it is angry, jealous, sad, happy etc. This awareness leads to the child becoming capable of handling all his/her emotions. Such a child will probably never need a psychiatrist or psychoanalyst in the future!

Further, it is common for most parents to use fear and to seed desires in the child’s Intellect to motivate him/her. Both these tools have severe side effects and therefore they have to be used very carefully!

Fear has to be used very sparingly and mainly in the area of safety of the child only! It is not uncommon to have parents use fear for achieving peak performance in the child. Fear actually works quite the opposite way. It freezes thinking and activity in the child in decades to come. The child will develop numerous fears, like of the darkness, of failing to meet the high requirements of its parents, fear of loss of love and respect from the parents, fear of elders, teachers, police  and many more. Fear actually handicaps a child! Further, parents have to become aware of their own fears so that these fears are not passed on unconsciously to our child!

Instead of fear, use love and positive reinforcement to change the behaviour and performance of the child!

The other disastrous technique is of seeding desires in the child. ‘If you do this then you will get this toy!’

If you observe a child, you will notice the sparkle in it’s eyes and the joy and happiness within. This indicates a sense of completeness within every child’s Intellect! All children generally are living in the present moment only, quite unlike adults, who imagine, get anxious and worried about the future most of the time! Parents only have to allow them to remain in the present moment!

Parents have to be aware that seeding of desires is the beginning of building up of the Ego of the child which implies incompleteness in the Intellect of the child. Then the child starts moving out of present moment living and moves on a imagined journey in the future to fulfill it’s desires and achieve completeness!

Therefore seeding of the desires has to be done with great care and patience, ensuring that the incompleteness we are building in along with the loss of joy and happiness, is kept to the lowest possible level!

Unfortunately desires, like weeds, multiply rapidly and automatically and incompleteness and loss of joy within the child mushrooms as the child grows up!

Rather than seeding desires, observe the child’s behaviour and determine his/her interests and capabilities and give the child all the help to develop these. Do remember that interests and capabilities change with time. So, we have to also change with the child and help him/her with his/her most recent interests and capabilities!

Also, when parents say that ‘If you do this , you will get that’, we are building up a strong cause and effect relationship in the Intellect of the child! The reality is otherwise, as each effect has so many millions of causes which are not yet fully comprehensible by the human mind! Perhaps, that is why Bhagavad Gita stated over 5000 years ago, that we should not be attached to the fruits of our action! So, we have to manage that our children act without too much attachment to the expected fruits or results! This can be done by helping our children to enjoy the action itself and not wait for the fruits!



Leave a Comment
  1. shal / Jun 28 2012 4:38 pm

    Very important subject. We’ve heard so often “if you don’t eat this, the boogeyman will come” Instead of this irrational and impatient, fear-driven parenting; parents need to encourage kids to appreciate their mealtime, try the food and then decide and give them the attention needed for the kid to understand and experience what is going on.
    It is also equally important for parents themselves, not to act out of fear. If parents act out of ego and fear, can you imagine how the kid is brought up and sees the world?

    • Gul Malani / Jun 29 2012 3:05 am

      Very good and valid comment. This is what we would like to achieve with this blog; for all of us to think and rethink before becoming parents so that our kids are not psychologically handicapped and damaged!

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