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Upbringing of the child

We must live and let live according to our own individual characteristics. A parent lives his or her own life and the child lives his or her own life although society as currently constructed wants to force the child to grow up in the image of the parents or of the expectation that society has for its members. But you cannot change the path of an individual. A child is known from the very first few years of life as to how good he or she is and on how malleable he or she would prove to be. It only creates aggravation in the family life and is not conducive to peaceful living to overdo the parenting. The best thing for the parent to do is to scold the child when he does something wrong, but leave society’s law to eventually deal with the child and this may be by way of disposing off miscreants by sending them to prison. Let society take over the manner in which the child is to be educated as far as morals and responsibilities are concerned. Morally, it is best to leave the child alone to go its own way and face this consequence if he commits unlawful acts. The parents, beyond feeding, clothing and housing the child should not waste their energies too much in educating the child into particular moral outcomes because it is futile. It is the duty of the parent to impart basic education so the child grows up able to read and write so as to cope well in a complex world during adulthood. That is where the role and duty ends. The child will imbibe the values that its gunas suit him or her to. The maxim that you can take a horse to water but you cannot make it drink applies to the upbringing of the child. The reason it is futile to teach any dharma or morality is that each one of us has the guna consciousness that guides us in our particular lives, that is gives us a blend of sattvic, rajasic or tamasic charcteristics. This cannot be changed by excessive use of education. The change must come from within the child.

Hindus in India appreciate that and leave the child alone. In the western way they say 'if you spare the rod you will spoil the child', from where the parents learn to punish the child by beating the child into the correct path of living.

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