What Is a Self-Confident Child?
In this excerpt from a conference call on Parenting, Sat discusses how to raise a self-confident child and the importance of not criticizing your children.
Question 1: Sat Joon, in Chapter 3 of I am the Child it says, “Parents who out of their own understanding, guide their child to reach within to find peace, joy and silence, or to reach within to find solutions, are raising a self-confident and capable child.”
We want to know if you could please elaborate on what a self-confident child is and how to raise one?
Sat: Oh, such an important thing, so important! Like Baba says, “Self-confidence is the foundation of self-realization.” Self-confidence is a lack of criticizing in your household. I asked My younger son a few weeks ago, “Do you remember Me having ever criticized you and your brother?” And he said, “No.”
Now, I am sorry that I keep bringing [up] My life; I don’t mean to say that I am special, but I just wanted to say the effect of it. There are so many better ways to correct a child than to criticize, or to tell them, “You did it again… why are you doing this?” etc. The effect of telling your child who the child is is so great, it is so great. I can’t even begin to tell you how it puts an effect in their subconscious.
Also, quality time with them is something else that helps them build that. To have a home that is peaceful and to have time that you all sit in silence, and to lead a life through your wisdom, not through tradition with your child, these are all the pointers that really, really help.
When you lead your life with tradition or passed-on ideas, you are locking your child in the old. But if you, yourself, bring it out of your own Existence, your own newness, then the child will accept it much better, much more joyfully. These are a few things that I think the parents should contemplate on and honestly it will work, it will work. I have done it; I know it has a good result.
Another thing that I did, but that doesn’t mean you should be doing it, is to leave your children alone and not to tell them “do’s” and “don’ts” all the time. Watch them, but really when you want to tell them “stop” or “work harder” or “study harder,” ask yourself this question: am I doing it for me or am I doing it for my child? If I am doing it for my child, what do I know what is good for him? Instead of that, encourage your kids, bring out how good they are, how capable they are, how divine they are, that works much better than any repetition of a sentence to the child.
We have to invent things; we can’t constantly go by “do’s” and “don’ts” of the old, ancient times. The bottom line is that if a mother and father are relaxed and don’t put pressure on themselves and their children, they will have more confident children. That is the bottom line!
Question 2: When You answered the last question, the first thing you said is don’t criticize your child. Is it ever appropriate to criticize our children, especially if we really disagree with how they are acting ?
Sat: The word criticize means “you are no good … you did it again … how could you … you know better, etc.” You can correct your child without having to criticize, so many other words can be used. “You are the light and the light does this in this situation … God does not act this way …” etc. in other words, without a put down. Discipline is very, very important in a child’s life, but it doesn’t have to be harsh and it doesn’t have to be directed towards a child’s littleness.
So, if we emphasize on the greatness of the child, even when they have made a mistake by saying “you are greater than this,” it emphasizes on the greatness rather than the littleness and somehow they don’t feel ashamed or guilty which leads them to make the same mistake again. As soon as you say “you are greater than that,” they sort of stand up a little bit taller.
There are so many ways to correct, even sternly correct the child without a putdown. That doesn’t mean you always have to use a nice, kind and gentle voice, NO, you can be very stern. But, in your sternness, bring their greatness up first. Then say, “You see, this behavior does not match who you are.”
What Is a Self-Confident Child?
November 27, 2021