If parents wish that their children should be ‘ideal’, then they themselves need lesson on idealism Parents are the initial tutors of their children. Children like to follow their parents. Hence parents should initially follow righteousness and try to become ideal parents to start with.
1. Attributes of the ideal parents
Parents must be vigilant to mould their child into becoming ideal citizens. Important requirements for the role of ideal parents are given below.
A. Unconditional love
The main requirement for an ideal parent is unconditional love towards their ward. The parents love their children in their existing states without any expectation. Even if the child is mentally retarded, the parent would love the child like any of his other children by abiding his normal duties towards them. Such unconditional love is necessary for the development and growth of the child. This instills confidence in the children. An ideal parent wins over her child with love and affection.
B Spending time with the child
A sign of an ideal parent is that his children want to spend time with the parent and are happy in his company.
C. Parents are idols of children
A child wants to have parents he can be proud of. As an idol before his son the father should be capable as a head of the family and an important and respected person in the society. A woman can portray herself as an ideal wife, mother and aunt etc. before her children through her behavior. She can also bring to the notice of her children how she gains mental satisfaction from such behaviour.
D. Satisfying their curiosity
Children are naturally curious about their environment. ‘How does the light bulb glows after a switch is made on?’ ‘How a baby gets in to a mothers womb?’ ‘Where did grandpa go after death?’ ‘Where does God live?’ They are constantly asking such questions to their parents. A parent should put aside the routine work and try to answer each and every question the child poses.
E. Nurturing dormant qualities
Every child has inborn qualities or some aptitudes. Some are good singers, musicians, artists etc. Parents should encourage them and introduce their children to different art forms. This helps them to develop all round personality and enjoy life to the fullest.
F. Intellectual growth and development
Parents should guide children and provide them with all possible educational opportunities for their intellectual growth and development and guide them appropriately.
G. Understanding children
The ideal parents should study the problems of their children from their points of view.
H. Love and Duty
Children become alienated from parents who carry out their duties towards their children devoid of any love. Children do not love such parents. They feel their parents are outsiders.
On the other hand, blind love towards child without any responsibility as parents can ruin child’s life. This is illustrated in the following story :
A dacoit was sentenced by a judge to have dacoit’s hands cut off as a punishment for his crime. After he was sentenced he pretended that he wanted to whisper something into his mother ear and bit her ear so hard that it was cut off. The people around were stunned and the judge asked the dacoit the reason for mercilessly cutting off his mothers ear. To this the dacoit replied, ‘When I was a child, she covered up my minor thefts due to her love for me. If she would have corrected me then, I would never have been in such a peril today.”
I. A perfect combination of love and duty
There was a renowned known pediatrician couple. The wife was very intelligent and was working in a famous medical college as a lecturer. She left her job when she had her first child and resumed after 20 years at much lower post. If she would not have left her job 20 years ago she would have been the head of her department. She would be asked by many people about why she ruined her career by resigning. To this she would reply, “I would have had a bright future if I had not resigned. But I created a bright future for my four children by resigning. Even today, I feel very happy and proud about my decision.”
J. Model citizen
It is necessary to be an ideal citizen and perform our duties towards society. It is necessary for parents to emphasize this upon a child by being an ideal citizen themselves. A parent must perform his duties as a parent by behaving adoringly, wisely and at times strictly with the child.
K. Ideal parents
The origin of the word mata (mother) and pita (father) is very meaningful. ‘मां तारयति इति माता।‘A mother is the one who protects us from difficulties, bad company and bad thoughts and guides us through the life. ‘पिता – पीयते तुरियान्।‘. A father is the one who can give us the experience of turyavastha (4th state of existence). A second definition is ‘पित¸न् तारयति ।’. A father releases not only himself but his ancestors from the cycle of birth and death.
Matrudevo bhava, Pitrudevo bhava” We bless our children and say ‘matrudevo bhava’ ‘ptirudevo bhava’. We wish that children serve parents like they serve God. But we forget that it is our duty to conduct like God. If we become ideal parents then our children become ideal children. If every child becomes an ideal citizen, then progress, power, peace and happiness will prevail on earth and we will actually experience heaven on earth!
Reference: ‘Sanskar as spiritual practice’, author, Dr. Vasant Balaji Athavale, M.D., D.C.H, F.A.M.S., and Dr. Kamlesh V. Athavale M.D., D.N.B., F.A.M.N.S