Neeta Singhal’s Answer

There has long been a debate on how we should raise our children. In India, most people feel that children should be supervised at all times and guided in everything they do. The fear being: “If I release control, the child will get spoilt by outside influences.” The West is more liberal and children there are encouraged to be more independent and exploratory in their childhood. So who is doing the right thing, and who is spoiling their child?

My view is that your child is a Soul who has chosen you as parent. The Soul has its own path that is defined by the Universe. As parents, our responsibility is to primarily take care of the physical and emotional requirements of the child. Your partnership with the child is that of stability. You care for him until he is stable enough to earn his own living and then he is there for you in your old age and infirmity.

Every child is endowed with natural intelligence. Sometimes, too much supervision and control makes him lose that natural intelligence and makes him disconnected with his own opinions and confused. Trust and love are important ingredients for raising children. Give your child conducive atmosphere at home, one of trust, stability and growth. When you accept your child unconditionally instead of making demands and controlling every move he makes, he will grow into a responsible adult with a healthy self-esteem.

If you are the sort of parent who worries too much, know that you are not responsible for your child’s life path. You are there only to take care of his physical and emotional needs. If you feel overly responsible and keep controlling the child, your child will lose his natural intelligence and become dependent and approval seeking. The solution is to let go and he will learn to emulate what is right. Allow him to grow and flourish and he will retain what he has learned in the home atmosphere.

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