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Effective Parenting | ParentEdge


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Effective parenting is teaching by example

ganesha Last Monday, we celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi and we had a community Pooja and associated events in our apartment building. We had a beautifully decorated Ganesha idol and a puja accompanied by live ‘nadaswaram’ etc, community lunch and dinner and a cultural show in the evening by fellow residents. The celebrations were anchored by some spirited senior citizens who came to every apartment soliciting voluntary contributions. The event was a grand success and, from the information shared, residents have contributed to the tune of Rs 1.8 lakhs (with individual contributions ranging from Rs 500 and going all the way up to Rs 10000!). Wow! At the same time, I could not but help remember a carnival in our apartment, a few months back, when we had a social business put up a stall. The company facilitates micro-lending to the rural poor and is doing commendable work in making a real difference to women and rural entrepreneurs. The company had hoped to get some people interested in their work and motivate them to lend small sums of money (Rs 1000 upwards). The company struggled to attract footfalls and did not get a single new investor that day! What this tells me is that we are willing to spend (in the name of ‘God’) and on ourselves (please note the Ganesha celebrations included entertainment and food for all of us), but are very reluctant to lend a helping hand to those who are in real need. If, as adults (and parents), we exhibit such a self-centered attitude, what kind of values will we instill in our children? Won’t we become responsible for creating a future generation that does not care for the larger good of society but only for themselves? As parents, we are so obsessed with getting our children become better, that we seldom hold a mirror to ourselves. We often forget that our children learn more by watching us than from what we say to them. So, let us take a step back and recommit to watching ourselves as much as we watch our children- let us learn to teach by example, rather than through instruction. That is the bedrock of effective parenting. Do you agree?


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Sudha Kumar is a marketing professional and runs a marketing services firm, Prayag Consulting. She has made her foray into publishing through ParentEdge. Over the last two decades, she has learnt a thing or two about being a working mom. That said, her views on parenting continue to evolve, as she learns from her experiences, reading, and now, from her children!

2 thoughts on “Effective parenting is teaching by example

  1. Kritika Srinivasan

    Good post Sudha, and something all parents should be thinking about (besides the hundred other aspects we need to look into as well) – how to make our children responsible, empathetic and community-minded adults? Co-incidentally, the current issue of ParentEdge has an article on Children and Community Service, which talks about precisely this – how parents can encourage kids to play an active role in the community, and of course, one of the points we make is that a child who is around parents who are seen as natually caring and philanthropic has a much better chance of growing up to be the same.

  2. Renuka

    I do agree- say less, do more! Having said that, the ease with which one is able to raise money in the name of God is far more than the ease with which one can raise money for a meaningful event. Even in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic place like Singapore, temples are hugely successful in raising funds for grand kumbabhishekams, while I struggle to raise money to organise a festival featuring classical music and dance. People do not hesitate to spend $400 per person for a dinner with Hrithik Roshan (which technically is not even a dinner ‘with’ him because he puts in an appearance for a few minutes), while they hesitate to spend $40 to listen to a classical musician, who will sing his/her heart out for over 2 hours. I do hope change will come, but meanwhile, we have to live the change for our children to imbibe it and so on…


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