Parenthood – Guidance in Imparting Values to Children

24 Dec. 2022, Saturday, Ahmedabad, India

Dr. Prarthana Patel MBBS MD DMB, Paediatrics Professor at GCS Medical College, offered a parenting seminar as part of the daily Women’s Empowerment Programme at ‘Pramukh Swami Maharaj Nagar’ in Ahmedabad on Saturday 24 December 2022.

Dr. Patel emphasised the importance of a child’s holistic health, which incorporates six key aspects: physical, emotional, spiritual, social, intellectual and moral development. She also paid tribute to Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s exemplary efforts towards the holistic development of children and youths in today’s society.

In her lecture, Dr. Patel enlightened the audience on proper parenting techniques for raising a child according to the various stages of their age.

A newborn (0 to 1 month) uses crying as a language to communicate and express his/her feelings and wants. Skin to skin contact is extremely beneficial for their development and growth as it soothes them.

An infant (1 month to 1 year) starts recognising people around them. They require positive encouragement for their various movements and activities. After 6 months, parents should start giving their infants books and toys, which help them identify colours and shapes, for example.

When a toddler (1 to 3 years) starts walking, parents should encourage them. There is an innate development of problem-solving skills at this age. Toilet training is important for a toddler as it helps in boosting their confidence levels. Disciplining them at this age sets the stage for sincerity and dedication in life.

For a pre-school child (3 to 6 years), curiosity and learning new things takes centre stage. The child learns to express clearly and has an approach to do one thing daily, such as singing, dancing or drawing.

A child (6 to 10 years) learns different words, languages and starts writing. Comparison amongst different children also becomes natural. It is important at this age to let the child express themselves and give their opinion. This also triggers a decision-making process in a child. Just like reading and writing, children have to learn how to move as well. Unstructured play for children is also imperative for their mental and physical growth.

Adolescence (10 to 18 years) is the most critical age in a child’s journey where the youth likes to be around people yet at the same time needs space. Parents at this stage can safely guide their children by becoming their friend and gaining their confidence. At this juncture, some of the important values to inculcate in a child are self-love, empathy and self-awareness. It is important to help them navigate life and gain control over their emotional states, such as stress, anxiety and depression.

Dr. Prarthana applauded Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s efforts toward children and youth development. “He led by example and initiated a lot of activities to inculcate values in a child.”

She further stressed the importance of having an ideal guru in one’s life. She concluded by highlighting, “Just like a seed when sown needs to be watered and nourished, similarly, parents play the role of a gardener wherein they need to provide an all-round development for a child.”

The seminar was one of a daily slate of multiple activities organized by and for women at the Nari Utkarsh Mandapam (Women’s Empowerment Pavilion) at the Pramukh Swami Maharaj Nagar for the month-long Pramukh Swami Maharaj Centenary Celebrations in Ahmedabad. Pramukh Swami Maharaj empowered countless women to develop talents and skills, achieve noteworthy accomplishments in all aspects of life and progress in their spiritual path towards spiritual liberation. The programmes in this pavilion are a tribute to Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s efforts for women’s upliftment and empowerment. Based on Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s life ethos, ‘In the joy of others lies our own’, daily assemblies, conventions, dances, dramas and various other presentations are being organised and delivered by women.