Total Education Blog

Taking Up The Challenge

Monday, January 30, 2017


 

It is not enough just to accept that the way the masses are bringing up their children is what you have to follow: the pace, the pressures, the denial of love and the exposure to chemicals, processed foods, microwave cooking etc. etc. You must independently decide how you will bring up your children.

In “the old days” children experienced a lot more quiet time/peace in the family (e.g. watching or helping mother patiently cook and enjoying it).

It is important to look at what the child is now normally seeing in the home (and this should not be taken as a criticism, just an observation). They see their mother and father all the time hassled, out of control, impatient, unhappy and perhaps descending into abusive language.

Children are taking in thousands of impressions every second; they take in everything. Their ‘camera’ is running all the time. With all this going on, by the time they get to 16, the picture they have built up is unacceptable.

   

This is why we as parents must take a hard look at ourselves in the interest of our children’s future.

Vijayadev Yogendra, Address to the Parent Group,
The School of Total Education
6 November 1992


“This is why we as parents must take a hard look at ourselves in the interest of our children’s future.”

This single sentence sums up Vijay’s thinking about the Parent Program. He is issuing a challenge here. If we as parents do not take the initiative and take charge of our children’s future, society most assuredly will. He is saying here that we must decide what type of values matter to us and what sort of future we want for our children. Is it good enough to simply follow the herd?

Vijay is saying that we are all in this together. We are all grappling with the negative forces around us: materialism, secularism, cynicism, workaholism, narcissism, the list goes on. How do we insulate our children from these negative factors which breed stress, anger, anxiety, selfishness and oppositional behaviors?

Vijay knew there were antidotes to this malaise of modernity, he believed humanity could turn this dire situation around by practicing different values and through education. But it is a work in progress and it cannot be done overnight. We can change the culture in our homes, our neighbourhoods and our workplaces. We can rebuild our relationships with our children and we can experience greater peace and harmony in our homes. But it is a challenge, especially if we attempt this on our own. We need space in our busy lives to do this and we need time out to question our approaches and reflect on their outcomes. We need the support, solidarity (sharing) and wisdom of other parents to begin this journey.

A small community of parents working together can turn the tide and nurture children who grow into strong leaders who are contributive and not corrupt. We need a future progeny that is healthy, happy and purposeful, working for the betterment of all humanity. But this starts in our homes and in our schools. The Parent Program brings us together to do just this. As Vijay says, the challenge is to take an honest, realistic and objective look at ourselves, our values, our priorities and our attitudes in the interests of our children’s future. Are we up for the challenge?

 

 - By David Leech 

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