We discussed a lot about how teachers and tutors influence a student’s growth and studying behavior in an earlier post; the parents play an equal role.
Children need to be taught with examples, with patience and a lot of compassion to ensure their character molds in the best possible way for the society.
When George Washington was a young kid about 6 years old he was given a hatchet, he was chopping everything that came along the way. He was playing around and he chopped his father’s favorite English cherry tree, his father was furious and came asking who did it. Young George said “I cannot tell a lie, father, you know I cannot tell a lie! I did cut it with my little hatchet.” The anger died out of his father’s face, and taking the boy tenderly in his arms, he said: “My son, that you should not be afraid to tell the truth is more to me than a thousand trees!”
If George’s father would have scolded him that day, George would never have had courage to tell the truth in the future, but he always did and became the great President – always honest.
His father made a very important contribution early on. Ensuring George was not afraid of telling the truth and facing the consequences.
Mahatma Gandhi once stole a piece of gold from his brother at the age of fifteen, the deed lay so heavy on his mind that he decided to admit it. He wrote the story of what he had done and gave it to his father. He did not only confess his guilt but asked “adequate” punishment for it. His father read the letter with tears -which Gandhi said ‘cleansed his heart and washed his sin away’. In his autobiography Gandhi wrote about that day,
”This sort of sublime forgiveness was not natural to my father. I had thought that he would be angry and say harsh words. But he was so wonderfully peaceful, and this was due to my clean confession. A clean confession, combined with a promise never to commit the sin again, when offered before one who has the right to receive it, is the purest type of repentance. I know that my confession made my father feel absolutely safe about me, and increased his affection for me beyond measure.”
His father influenced him so deeply at such an early age that he eventually led the non-violence movement to free India from British rule.
There are umpteen numbers of such cases when children are influenced by their parents at an early age and eventually that become their guiding light throughout their life. A lot of other scenarios also exist when the children are not motivated or treated badly and which leads them to become criminals or anti-social people.
I was also influenced a lot by my parents and elder sister. They were always there to help me and guide me in the right direction. Without them I would not be in this position writing to you folks.
Good examples set by elders through their behavior influence a kid in a real positive way. As an old saying goes, “Mother is the first institution that a child gets nourished through.” It is upto the parents/elders to ensure we provide the best upbringing in terms of correct lessons, motivation, encouragement and character we want to instill in our kids.