6 Things To Do to Earn Your Child’s Friendship – Sadhguru
They tell me this word parenting or parent
came into circulation only somewhere around maybe two hundred years ago. And just about at
that time, one John Walmot, the Earl of Rochester, said something significant. He said, “Before I got married,
I had six wonderful theories about how to parent. But now, I have six children and all theories are gone”. Unfortunately, somewhere, people have been made
to believe that children are all born improper and we have to make them proper. No. So what should
I do, parenting? I want you to look back and see, when you were five, six years of age, what would be
the best kind of parents to have ? If you look back, you would know very clearly. If you are a parent, the important thing is,
please don’t stand on a big pedestal. The only qualification you have is you just
came here a few years early. That’s the only mistake you’ve done. Yes.
When you say, “I wish I was young,” what it means is, “I made the mistake of
coming too early.” So this is the only qualification adults have, that they
came here a few years earlier than the younger people. This doesn’t qualify you to advice about
everything in the universe. It doesn’t. If you admit your ignorance with the youth,
and especially with little children, they will become your close friends, otherwise
they look up to you because they have to. There is a hierarchy business, and of course,
everybody hates that hierarchy, because looking up, neck hurts, you know. Nobody likes it.
Because in trying to place yourself above, you’re losing the possibility of being a good friend.
If you’re not a good friend, they are not seeking your advice, they have…
they are not just in the neighborhood, now globally they seek answers, okay?
You don’t know where their friend is, their friend is in Timbuktu right now, not in the
neighborhood. A relationship is only possible when you’re not on the pulpit, you’re down on the ground,
like everybody else, on the same two feet. Then only it’s possible, then only there is a friendship.
When there is a friendship, there is room for correction. When there is no friendship, you can say what
you want, nobody is going to listen anyway. And if you go on telling advice after advice,
they will just do the reverse, just to spite you. A whole lot of children do things just because
it freaks the parents. Yes or no? They’re doing it just to freak the parents,
they… they just enjoy it, because these advice and advice and advice
advice is sickening. Nobody likes advice. But if there was a bond of friendship, naturally
they would listen. That’s what one should earn. The parents and teachers should earn the friendship
of the new generation rather than thinking, just because a few years early you came,
you know the universe. There’s no such thing. So, just stop advising them, just be friends with
them, play with them, go to the cinema with them, listen to their kind of rap music, dance with
them you will see they will be fond of you, there will be a relationship, once there’s a relationship,
you can do something, you can influence them. First and foremost thing that we need to understand is,
child means it is not some personalized project. We are manufacturing the next generation of people.Those who decide to have children must have dedicated time for the child, not fitting in
here… one ten minutes here, ten minutes there. You must have full-fledged dedicated time
because it is about making the next generation better than who we are.
There is nothing special to be done. You don’t have to buy a single toy. You just have
to spend time, you just have to expose them to nature, you just
have to expose them to various forms of creation. But just to get rid of the child, you bought
him an iPad when he’s five. See, you buy him an iPad when he’s four
or five, don’t think it’s out of your love. You’re being strategic, you want to get rid of him.
Get rid of him means he opens up something and something, something, something is happening
on the iPad endlessly, so you can go about your business the way you want. I don’t think it
is necessary for such people to have children. Unless you’re willing to have dedicated time,
you should not do this crime, not necessary. But once you have, you must have dedicated time.
And first of all, you must fix yourself. You must become that kind of a person, the
child will look up to and love to be with. Then, even time can be adjusted. If they’re really
looking up to you, five minutes is worth five days. Five minutes of contact is like five days. Nothing to
teach, what’s there to teach? What is there to teach? What do you know about life
that the child doesn’t know, I’m asking? Survival tricks, don’t teach them too early.
This is a serious problem. These days, I think it’s little less than what it used
to be before. Three-year-old child, they’re asking, “What do you want to become” ? “I want to
become pilot. I want to become commando.” These days, everybody wan… all the boys want to be
commando because that’s the game they’re playing because I see in these games, phew
means somebody’s head falls off. They may become Jihadi Johns because
right from childhood, they’re taking off people’s heads. So, what do you… what do you want to
expose your children to is something that every parent needs to think about because it is exposure
it is not moral teaching which is going to stick. It is the exposure that the child is exposed to,
which is really going to stick right through their life. You must expose them to all the positive,
wonderful things. Positive things does not mean right versus wrong.
Simply life, the way it is. I think if people want to have children this
may sound extreme but I would say at least for two months in a year, those who have children
should withdraw into a natural space, not live in their city burrows or those bird
nests of apartments. They must go away at least for two months. It’s all
right even if you have to live in a tent somewhere, but they must live in nature, the children very, very, very
important if you want to have your children physically, mentally healthy and balanced, which is the
most important thing. Parents think all the things that they could
not do, they must achieve through their children. So they should have bred race horses (Laughter).
They are not an extension of your ambitions. They are not and they need not be. So this is
because people think they own their children. No, they’re not your property. I think these days
they’re telling you, older generation hesitated to say this, this
generation by the time they’re ten they’re telling you, “You got no business to tell me what to do”. So does
it mean to say you don’t say anything to them? No, it’s your business to see, because if
you don’t guide them, somebody else will on the street or somebody will do it long distance on the internet,
all kinds of creatures are out there, all right? So yes, to protect them, to nourish them,
to allow them to explore their possibilities, it is your business to do that as a parent.
But parent’s concern may be “what will happen, what will happen, what will happen?
Tell me when you go through fear, is it fantastic? Hello? It’s one of the most terrible
emotions you can go through. Why are we thinking that we should be fearful
of our future, not only of your future, of anything that you do and you are even god fearing,
all right. Fearful about everything, what is the point? There is no such thing. There is no such
thing that this generation should be an extension of
the previous generation, this generation should do something that previous
generation could not imagine. That is when there is a purpose to this
generation, isn’t it? Otherwise, what’s the point if you’re going
to do the same things? if you want your children to consider the suggestions
that you’re making, don’t try to discipline them. If it works, if you try to discipline them and it works,
unfortunately it means that you have dumb children. If they’re smart, it just won’t work… really. Isn’t it so?
You don’t like this? If they’re just dumb, helpless children it’ll work;
otherwise with nag disciplining it won’t work. Yes, here and there maybe you put your
foot down a little bit, but that right also you get only because
you built a relationship. You built a very close friendship relationship,
so somewhere you can use your privilege of being older than them and put your foot
down on a few things. But you can’t go about disciplining them,
you must drop that idea from your mind because it won’t work. If they don’t like your discipline,
it’s just a few months away that they don’t like you. If a few years away they hate your discipline, then you
must know that much time away they’ll also hate you, there’s no question about it, isn’t it? So, don’t get
yourself into that situation. The most important thing is to provide him an
atmosphere of… which is joyful, loving and inspiring, inspiring him to stand up and find his full potential.
If this atmosphere is provided, you don’t really have to worry about disciplining.
Discipline will happen by itself. Discipline does not mean control. Discipline means
that you are focused towards knowing. the word discipline in English means a learning
or to learn. So, when you say ‘I’m disciplined’ that
means you’re always willing to learn, that you’re not stuck in some mode. So, discipline
is not just doing something some way you’re willing to learn which way to do
everything better. So, if you’re constantly striving how to do
everything better you’re disciplined. You’re just doing something in a particular
way that’s not discipline. If you bring yogic practices into a child’s life
there’s no way they cannot be disciplined; discipline will happen to them. This is the mistake, or this is the fundamental
flaw in the education systems of the day, that we think we need to prepare people for something.
No, we need to prepare people for nothing. We just have to make people flexible and sharpen
their intelligence, sharpen their perception; whatever is needed, do that. Only thing is, you
have to make human intelligence in such a way that it’s flexible, and it’ll quick… quick…
quickly grasp what is around. Perception is sharpened, intelligence is sharpened,
but you don’t become a concrete block that, “I’m an engineer,” “I’m a doctor,” “I’m ‘this’,”
“I’m ‘that’,” you becoming a concrete block, you can’t change yourself. Does it mean to say
no subject needs any training? Yes, it will need. Many subjects need expertise which needs a
certain level of application and training. I’m not questioning that, but you don’t
have to do it early on. Right now, from the age of three, four they
are telling, “I’m going to become IT engineer” “I’m going to become a startup”, now
it’s all startup or a doctor, engineer… Everything was doctor at one time, then it
became little engineer, now computer, now startup. How many starts up… startups are non
starters in the country? Too many, unfortunately, because you don’t need a
startup culture, engineering culture, something like this. What you need is that you’re a solution-seeking
generation. Let your children do something that you
could not dream of. If you have achieved a certain level of success,
you’ve taken care of bread for your children. So let them live a life, where they don’t
have to think about their bread. That is, they don’t live for their survival, they
live to create something that is wonderful for himself and everybody else. Just yesterday somebody was asking me in some
meeting that I was in, “Sadhguru, I have a fourteen year old boy…
Fourteen year old boy is trouble, I know.” Because I was a fourteen year old boy at one time I was.
I know he’s trouble. The lady was in tears, “I have a fourteen year old boy…”
“I understand…” I said, “Don’t say anything more, I
understand. Fourteen year old boy”. So the thing is, when you had a child when it was…
when it was a little infant, mu, mu, mu, mu, mu, mu, mu, you loved it because you could twist it and turn it
and play with it whichever way you want. Yes? Then it became a three year old, it was crawling
all over the place. You also crawled with the baby, you played
with the baby, you tried to speak like them, cuckoopoobo, peekaboo, all that everything
was nice. Then he stood up, now he’s become a fourteen year old boy. What
that means is he’s trying to be his own. He wants to be a man, he’s in a hurry!
But you still want to do mu, mu, mu, to him. When you … when you crawled with him when
he was two, three years old, he also enjoyed it, but now he wants to swing.
You should also swing with him. But you still want to crawl, you still want
to do mu, mu, mu, it doesn’t work. The best thing, if you want to be of some
value to your children, whether they are your own biological children or they’re studying
with you, the most important thing is that when they see you, they must say,
“Wow, I want to be like this!” Yes? You must become that kind of a person,
you don’t have to say a thing, you become that kind of a person, everybody
wants to be like you. You must learn to dance like them, you must like to
sing like them, you learn to speak like them, then they say “Wow, this is how I want to be.” Once they
want to be like you, there is no issue making it happen. Yes? Very simple. So you must make them
fall in love with you, not demand something, you must make them fall in love with you. This is
what you need to do. If somebody has to fall in love with you,
what you… what you should do? You must shine a bit. Hello? Yes or no?
You must shine a little bit.