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Practise Humility so that Your Child is Humble too!


humilityHumility, that is, the ability to be rooted in spite of success, is becoming a rarity these days. How often does it happen that you come across someone who has achieved something wonderful but is not boastful about it? I don’t come across many such people, although I would love to.

Let me give you an example here. A is achieving new heights in her career everyday and whenever someone congratulates her, she starts talking about all the other things she is doing and is not getting much recognition for. B on the other hand is experiencing a similar success in her career. She talks about it too but only when prompted and prefers using two magical words when people congratulate her on her success. Now I don’t have to tell you what these two words are!

Who would you like to hang out with more? Probably B I gather. Why is it that a few people are genuinely humble while some others feel life is all about displaying their achievements? There could be many reasons. Social media can be blamed partly – after all life on social media is all about the number of likes, and thus we will boast about any minor achievement in a megalomaniac way, just to get noticed. The kind of company that people keep could be another reason; if all my friends are boasting I will do so as well. For instance, very often we see parents talking about their kids’ achievements as if there was a competition to be won about whose kid is the smart-“est”.

Humility is not a trait that we are born with. It needs to be shaped. Its value needs to be taught, and modelled. How many times have you as parents bragged about their achievements, while they are around? A few times? May be you didn’t realise the repercussions of comparing your child’s achievements with another while your child is present. This extremely common behaviour by parents has a host of negative effects on the child – in this blog, let’s just consider how this behaviour affects your child’s ability to be humble.

Like a lot of other things, children develop humility and understand the importance of the same by learning from observation. So just like we watch our language in front of kids we also need to watch the content of our speech. And most importantly, we need to be humble ourselves. Some simple techniques to develop humility (and you can share these with your kids too) could be:

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Shobhika Jaju is a NET qualified psychologist who would love to be reborn as a shrink every single time. She is the founder of Silver Linings: Guidance & Counselling Centre, in South Goa, & hence is effectively putting her love for psychotherapy & her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology to good use. Shobhika also works at Little’s School, Fatorda (Goa) & writes for several print and online media on a regular basis. She facilitates workshops on topics promoting personal enhancement & spreading mental health awareness. She is affiliated to the American Psychological Association, Bombay Psychological Association, Goa Psychological Association & the Movement for Global Mental Health. Her website can be accessed at silverliningsgoa.com.

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