Duties Towards Children in Grihastha Ashram

Young children are like sponges. They soak up Krishna consciousness and there is practically no need to expose them to anything but Krishna consciousness. Children should be protected from worldly pleasure by cultivating a joyous Krishna conscious atmosphere in the house so that the children are completely satisfied and their creative abilities are properly channelized. Unfortunately, in the modern society, parents have no time for their children. They give them comforts but not abundant affection and concern, which are needed at all the stages in their life. Children should be handled with affection and discipline. Canakya’s instructions that children be given abundant affection till attain the age of five, disciplined, if necessary, till they attain the age of ten and a child be treated as a friend once he attains the age of sixteen, should be used with circumspection.

  • Parents should not subject their children to excessive academic pressure. Every child has God given intelligence and ability. The parents should constantly endeavor to create the right conditions for a child’s physical, intellectual and spiritual progress. Parents should try to bring out the best in their children by developing a relationship of love and trust, respect the feelings of the children and at all times and make sincere efforts to inculcate good values in life.
  • Never humiliate a child in presence of others or make odious comparisons. This can have adverse psychological influence on the child.
  • Parents should not fight or argue in the presence of the child and also not criticize other devotees. A child has a natural instinct for admiring his/her parents and often a child regards parents as role models. Therefore, one should not have arguments in the first place and most certainly not in the presence of the child.

Reproduced from the Grahastha Manual by Radhanath Swami Maharaj.