Children, our kids should grow up full of enthusiasm, energy, vitality and healthy intelligence. They should have the courage and bravery to face adversity. They should be able to get along with others and actively engage themselves in dharmic social projects. Their life should be filled with joy and contentment. Is this possible? It easily is, if they are educated and trained properly.
Children are attached to things the moment from the moment they are born. As soon as the baby cries, the mother gives it breast milk. If it continues crying, a pacifier is put in its mouth. Otherwise, toys are provided. In this way, the child grows up finding happiness in toys, matchbox cars and dolls. As they get older, they get friends. Gradually, they become attached to all of these objects and relationships. When confronted with adversity, they then turn to these and other such supports for help. Gradually, their mind weakens.
Once, two neighbours planted mango-tree saplings. One of them provided just enough water and fertiliser. The other gave too much. His mango tree grew very fast and vast, while the first neighbour’s tree grew very slowly. The properly watered mango tee didn’t spread that much either. One day, there were strong winds. The mango tree in the second yard fell over. However, the first neighbour’s tree stood firm. The roots of that mango tree had penetrated deep under the soil in order to find the necessary water and nutrients because only the requisite amount of water and nutrients had been provided. Since the second mango tree was over watered and fertilised, its roots didn’t go deep. Hence, it fell.
We need to show our children love and affection. But we also need to educate them and give them restrictions. Showering them with unlimited love and fulfilling all their desires will make them weak. Children should be given small responsibilities. They should be made aware of their responsibilities, as well as what is dharma and adharma. They should be trained to accept and endure small failures and sorrows when facing obstacles. Then they will become courageous. Gradually, they will be able to face and overcome any obstacle. Those who get used to carrying small burdens when they are young will be able to carry heavy burdens later in life.
Amma, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi