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Remain Aware About Your Child's Problem

From: "Will Chaucey" To: Subject: Remain Aware About Your Child's Problem Date: Fri, 19 Feb 2010 07:51:08 +1000 Baba "Jyoti-ujjval pra'n'occhal tumi priyo..." (P.S. 2229) Purport: Baba, O' Parama Purusa, You are the Divine Controller of this vast universe. You are the brilliant effulgence-- full of vitality & saturated & with the love. Baba, You are my dearmost. By Your own glory You are glorified. O' Parama Purusa You are ever-adorable. Baba, I do not have the strength to catch hold of You. With my little strength and with whatever means I have, I try to catch You-- but it is impossible for me. Instead I remain engrossed in my own self-- unit "I". This 'unit I' is preventing me from coming close to You. Baba, please transform my 'I-feeling', make it Yours. Baba, with my own strength I will not be able to get You. With the thread of the spider's net I will not be able to bind You and hold You. Because of this, please by Your causeless grace, allow Yourself to get held. This is my only request to You. Please keep this open for Your consideration. Baba, in my mind & in my heart, I have deep longing for You-- to have You close. Please grant me this by Your causeless grace. Baba please come in my shravan, manan, niddidhyasan, & dhyana and make me Yours...
Namaskar, As parents, the easiest thing to do is to get caught up in our own lives and lose sight of what our children are really going through. This is especially true in this age of extreme materialism and busyness. Being a parent, counselor and spouse, this has become a big issue in our household and neighborhood. Of course, as Ananda Margiis, we are, in general, far better off in this regard than the mainstream citizens. Daily meditation affords us the time and space to reflect and feel that inner link with Parama Purusa. That softens the heart and brings life into focus. At the same time, in my week I come across many cases where families are caught up in the tidal wave of materialism. In that storm, the children's needs get pushed aside, or even lost entirely. One critical point that comes up again and again is kids getting bullied at school. Bullying comes in the forms of children getting beaten up, threatened, scared, abused, teased, ridiculed, humiliated etc. To brush these incidents off as just meagre occurrences is an injustice to our children. Bullying has devastating short-term and long-terms effects on our kids. It must not be tolerated. Here is a look at the causes, effects, and solutions to this problem of bullying. Please be mindful of this issue in your area with your kids and do share your thoughts on this important topic.
At first, as a reader you might think that when there are so many gigantic problems in the world, why spend time talking about this issue of bullying. After all the economy, women's rights, wars, devastation, and so much more - why then talk about bullying. The answer is simple. Most of the problems in the world are due to human neglect. We need proper people to turn things around. Yet those who get bullied as kids suffer both short-term and long-term issues - severely impacting their human growth and development. Bullying is completely traumatic and affects one's relations, life choices, sleep, dreams, self-esteem, psychic constitution and so much more. After all, as a child, one's entire life revolves around school and friends. And if that world is shattered due to bullying it is tantamount to an adult losing their career, getting a divorce, being exiled from their church or community, or losing all one's personal property. A child's existence at school is central to who they are. If their prestige and stature is squashed in school, then that shakes their whole existence to the very bone. Those experiences can scar them for life. Plus bullying is two-way street; both parties are hampered. Those who get bullied feel inferior, inconfident, shaky, worried and more. That can last for decades - or even their whole life. Those who do the bullying often grow up as quarrelsome, mal-adjusted people who spoil the society wherever they go. Hence, the issue is a big one with far-ranging effects. None should naively think that what happens in the schoolyard gets left in the school yard. Rather those feelings and events get dragged through one's entire life. As adults, it is our duty to know what is going on with our kids - lest they fall by the wayside and get submerged into so many problems like bullying. We should be critically aware if bullying is going on with our kids and take it as a major event if it is happening.
In brief, let's take a look at Baba's approach to the education and development of our children. We all know that Baba places tremendous emphasis on early childhood development. To that end, Baba wants us to have pre-schools and elementary schools in all towns and villages around the globe. And He also places great importance on the role of parents. Baba says, "It must be the teachers’ responsibility to impart knowledge, teach restraint in social life, and give instruction about all the various aspects of collective endeavour, but the parents will have to take on most of the responsibility for the moral and spiritual education of the child." (HS-1) Thus in our schools and in our homes, children are to be surrounded by loving, caring, responsible adults who are tuned in to the needs, problems and yearnings of our youths. And from an early age they are to be introduced to the ways of neo-humanism and a cosmic outlook. If from the very beginning children feel a sense of connection to others around them and to the universe as a whole, they will feel they have a place in this world. They will feel loved and share love with others, seeing all as their family members. They will feel like they are a part of humanity - not alienated by it. For these reasons and more Baba places a grand emphasis on the early experiences of children, both inside and outside of school. If the child has this proper base, then bullying - and so many other childhood issues that abound today - will never be an issue in their life.
Unfortunately, now in this materialistic era, the real needs of children are often ignored both at home and in school. Today, children are a mere by-product of sexual lust. Often the parents are not married and are "upset" that they got pregnant. And in the case of married people, they are quick to get the baby out of their own bedroom and into a separate room so they - the married couple - can resume their sensual nights and not be disturbed by a baby. Here the main critical aspect is that children come into this world and are not wanted, loved, and embraced in the way that is needed for them to grow properly. This is perhaps the most dangerous outcome of materialism and affects the whole society. And the root cause is extreme selfishness. Because parents are too busy with their own jobs, because adults are too sunk in their own sensual pleasures, because those parents were often themselves ignored as kids, and for so many other reasons, children often grow up in a whirlpool of isolation, desperately wondering if they are loved or not. These following letters address this pervasive problem. Plus in our schools, because teachers are underpaid and undervalued, the applicant pool is not very strong and we often do not have our highest quality people going into the teaching profession. Oversized classrooms, growing violence, and a huge array of behavioral issues, contribute to the problems and schools in the west often resemble counseling centers or even jails, not centers of learning. The children then are not introduced to a proper code of conduct nor given a proper cosmic outlook. Rather they are submerged in all kinds of social ills. With this dramatic deficit both at home and in schools, our children are frustrated, angry, isolated, and littered with so many psychic and emotional troubles. The outcome of all this is that our children are prone to either bullying others or to being bullied themselves. This is a problem especially in the west, but really anywhere materialism becomes a stronghold. In that sense, we all are at risk - kids everywhere are susceptible.
With the situation of bullying as serious as it is, the issue demands resolution. Tragically, all too often, parents are too busy to even know that their children are going through such traumatic events. Parents work 10 or 12 hours days, see their kids for a few minutes at night, and hardly have time to eat dinner together let alone talk about meaningful matters. Besides, when there is a basic gap in parent-child communication, then things mostly go unnoticed and unaddressed. If and when some parents do come to know that their kids are getting bullied, they often respond with a phrase like, "Don't worry, just make some other friends." This is most harmful as it shoves the problem under the rug forever. This only worsens the situation and allows it fester, causing lifelong problems like fear complexes, alienation, despair, nightmares, depression and more. As parents, our approach must be totally pro-active when it come to bullying. 1. Parents must tune in, come forward and pay concern to their child's physical and emotional needs. For them, getting bullied is a frightening thing. Kids must feel that they are loved and that as parents we are concerned with their problem. 2. Parents must go to school and resolved the situation with the principal and / or teachers. This type of direct action is needed. 3. If needed, parents must place their kids in a different school or different learning environment. 4. Parents should also look into creating alternative social opportunities for their children by having their kids meet up with kids from a different neighborhood on the weekend. The kids should not be around those same children who bully them. 5. Parents must be very aware of what kinds of friends their children have. Friends are a huge component of a child's life and can be a telltale sign of what direction your child's life is progressing. 6. Again and again, parents must enforce the sentiment that "You are mine and I love you very much" within their child's mind. This must start from Day 1 and be reinforced every day and every night by providing a safe environment for their kids where they are included, loved and embraced. We have to remember that school and friends are everything for children. Just as we work for a proper stature in society, our kids do the same. As devastating as it is for us to lose our place in the world, it is doubly scarring for children. We must take their problems like bullying as monumental occurrences and not minimise the problem to petty things. Should we talk down or pooh-pooh the problem, our kids will never tell us anything again. It will block all communication and the problem will fester. Tragically this is what we see happening again and again in today's materialistic society. And the result is that we have children graduating from schools with a whole basket of psychic and emotional issues that hinder them for the rest of their life. And we have children who are totally disconnected from the families and communities. Thus, as parents, teachers, counselors, concerned neighbors and school administrators, we should address this problem of bullying in a very forthright and direct manner. Failing that, we are inviting a whole slew of issues for our children, as well as losing their trust.
By His grace, all have come into this world to flower, bloom and blossom. That is the dharma of human beings. When society itself blocks this progress, problems abound. Bullying in school is a direct result of materialism and leads to more and more social ills. It demands our critical attention otherwise a neo-humanistic society will be but a dream. I hope others will take up this important topic and share their thoughts - our kids deserve it. Namaskar, Vinay
*************************************** How to Become Great
Baba says, "Who is mahat (great), who is maha'na (great), about this it has been said, 'paropaka'rat mahat', or those who are serving others. They are called mahat. Those who have studied volumes of books, or those who accumulated huge wealth, those who have a prestigious family heritage, good reputation in the society, all these things are there, etc even then they cannot be great if they do not serve others." "Those who are serving others, they are mahat, great. To do social service huge money is not needed. Whatever strength you have at present in your hand, utilise that to serve others. If body is strong physically then serve with physical body, and if you have money then serve with your money, if you have intellect then do with intellect, if you have courage then do with that, if you do not have anything then you do by your good thoughts and well-wishing. Human beings become great by serving others. But where there is not service they become low and mean. They become meager." (AV-28 (H))

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