9 February 2014 - QA 11

(Marina Spadafora: fashion designer from Italy)
Q: Being a mother of three, I always ask myself, what is the best approach to teach my son to respect women, and to respect girls. So my question for you is, what is the best way for a mother to teach her boy that he always has to respect women, take care of them, protect them and treat them the best way possible. So when this boy will grow up, he will be a good man and we would not have as much violence as we have in today’s society”.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:

Well, I’m not so qualified to answer this question, because I have no experience in that field (marriage and parenthood). But I have a suggestion.
In my observation, I found a mother can influence a child only to some extent. Especially when the kid becomes rebellious, the mother cannot influence the kid. But a good aunt can do it.
So, if you want to be a good mother, you have to be a good aunt to the friends of your kids.
You know, the friends of your kids will listen to you much more than your own children.

In India, we have a saying. In the mango season, when you want to pluck the mangoes, don't throw stones directly at the mango, but throw it at the branch, and the mango will fall. If you throw stones at the mango, you won’t get the mango, you will only get the juice.
So, to catch the mango, you have to get it indirectly.

In the same way, if you want to influence your kids, you should influence his or her friends circle. If the friends circle is influenced, your kid will automatically get the lesson.
So you cannot just worry about your kid, you will have to worry about all the other kids in the society. Then you will get somewhere. And many people have been successful in doing it.