5 Simple Tips to Become Your
Child's Best Friend

Parenting is, unarguably, one of the most stressful jobs in the world! What with few reference points, loads of trials and errors, and delayed and irreversible results of decisions taken, you are likely to agree with me! Especially if you are a parent!

Every parent intends to do the best for their child. Of course, some qualities are ingrained in children and cannot be changed. Thankfully, not everything is set – some personality traits are developed through conditioning. This is the part of your child you can influence by exposing them to different experiences and environments.

Towards that end, here are some simple lessons you can consider imparting to your child. They can help make him/her comfortable in any part of the world with all kinds of people.

1. Educate your child holistically

Music, arts and physical education are important for children

- Jack Ma, Founder, Alibaba Group

While skill training and formal schooling are important, introduce other disciplines to soften a child’s rough edges. There should be a balanced mix of music, dance, art, yoga, meditation, and service in children’s education.

We all admire knowledgeable and skillful people. However, along with knowledge, it is important that we nurture compassion, integrity and a sense of service in children.

With service and spirituality in their life, children can grow up well-rounded and socially adept. They will see both sides of an issue, make informed judgments and decisions, and be open-minded enough to live amid different people.

Give your child the experience of Yoga, Meditation and Breath

2. Embrace diversity

If you teach children to get along with people of all ages, nationalities, religions, beliefs, and genders, they are more likely to grow up capable of dealing with the universe outside. They will shake hands with the world with an open heart and mind, without feeling homesickness, or loneliness. Because the world becomes their home.

Simple interactions dissolve differences and fears. Such children learn to care about those around them without creating artificial divisions based on color, language, or country.

3. Allow your child to trust and belong

“The world is a dangerous place.” Do you tell your child this? Do you teach him to expect that people will deceive and cheat him at every turn? As a result, is he wary and distrustful of everyone around him? If you said yes, perhaps it is time to rethink your good intentions.  

It is, of course, natural to teach your child to be cautious. However, it would be best to avoid becoming over-protective. Healthy children, naturally, trust the world around them and they reflect what they see. So, a child who trusts is likely to be trustworthy. Children, instinctively, trust in God, the goodness of people and themselves. With a sense of belongingness and oneness with the world, the human connection in them strengthens. This makes them caring and sensitive as they grow up.

4. Expose children to old and new ideas

Disdain for ideas, whether old or new, in the child’s mind, can develop into intolerance and anger in the adult mind.

Just as a tree needs its deep roots to sustain itself, it needs to grow new leaves, flowers, and fruits. Without the roots, one strong wind will blow it away. Without the new leaves and flowers, it will look withered and barren.

So, encourage children to have a healthy respect for cultural and traditional values. It will help them understand where they came from. It will ensure that they do not get confused with or shaken by new and different ideas that they are bound to encounter as they venture into the world.

With this sense of self as a solid base, you can encourage them to adopt a scientific temperament that nurtures innovation and creativity.

5. Channelize their energy effectively

Children have a lot of raw energy that, sometimes, takes the form of aggressiveness and hyperactivity. To make matters worse, the outlets they use to thrill themselves include electronic gadgets – computer games that increase their aggressiveness and insensitivity.

No wonder then that, without the benefit of proper guidance and direction, many children display anti-social tendencies.

As a parent, you could sidestep these undesirable outcomes by channelizing their energy into sports, music and other organized activities. The focus and discipline required will drive them to utilize their energy towards reaching excellence rather than turning to violence. Simultaneously, introduce them to meditation to stimulate and develop their brain as well as brawn.

Along with these simple steps to raise children well, consider these:

  • Regularly offer them a natural, healthy and balanced diet. This will keep their mind active and body strong.
  • Take them to orphanages and old age homes. Instill a sense of giving and sharing in them.
  • Ensure that they get physical exercise on a daily basis, channelizing their energy positively.

Actions speak louder than words. Parents are the first role models for kids. When you behave conscientiously and sensitively, it will rub off on your child. You will, then, want to meet and become friends with your child when he/she becomes an adult!

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