two ways to bring up a child

Recently someone from America had come on a visit to India. She has two granddaughters in the US, elder one she has brought up with more attention in her own way, compared to the younger one. And there on the phone was her elder granddaughter, wailing away and completely miserable not able to eat properly also, just pleading that her granny comes back home as soon as possible.

I felt really sorry for her granddaughter. But for the grandmother and all her sisters, it was a kind of satisfaction about how much the grandchild loved her.

There are countless ways to bring up a child – but in my view they primarily come down to two aspects. They are of course not mutually exclusive, and there is no absolute black or white.

One is the way adults involved want them to be brought up. There is a strong feeling that one knows the best way to bring up children. there is a strong feeling of ownership for the child to be brought up “my way”. Here the adult knows better than the child. Here the child is considered as more like a cute doll than an intelligent individual. The child is expected to owe a lot of obligation to the adult. Threatening or bribing the child to get any expected behavior is a convenient habit.

And the other is the way where the adult acknowledges that there may be a better way than what they already know, and willing to learn it from whatever sources life manifests as. The child is not a doll, but an independent intelligent individual, and is respected and treated as one. Threatening or bribing the child to get any expected behaviour may happen only as a last resort. In fact, the child is able to learn by itself and the function of the adult is mainly only to facilitate and support. Therefore the child owes nothing to the adult, as its simply a priviledge for the adult to have gotten such an opportunity.

2 Responses to “two ways to bring up a child”

  1. Upendra Says:

    Hi Sanjaya,

    Surprised!!!, I agree that children are a blessing to us and of course we are the curse to them (in a lighter vein). I just happened to be returning from a friends place over the weekend, who have a 6 months old baby. The mom was feeding the baby with lots of love. The baby was lying on its back on mom’s stretched legs. Mom was holding kids both hands tightly and literally shoving the fruit (paste) into the baby’s mouth. The baby first locked its mouth tight, spit the food and when none worked cried out loud but had to gulp it down as it was literally chocking her.

    I could not stand it and had to intervene, when I tried to feed it by releasing the hands and playing with it, it kept smiling but did not want the food. Upon enquiry found out that, the baby does not like that fruit and she happily eats other fruits and rice. I was a little rude with the parents to ensure they feed other fruits and they settled for rice. After that the baby happily finished the bowl without any issues.

    The fact is that, little kid knew what is good for her more than the adults. The little one’s intuitive faculties are not corrupted and the kid will only want what is good for its health. It may sound surprising but true. The craving for taste and external things increases with age and so logically the older we are more corrupt and out of touch we are with our intuition compared to younger ones in a normal scenario.

    In fact this reminds me of my younger daughter who refused to drink milk when she was a baby. We did not know why, and learnt later that she was allergic to it. Even today she does not like milk, it is not right for us to force milk, just give an alternate supplement which she likes.

    Mostly it is watching them grown and receiving their love is all that is required from Parents side. But most importantly, learning from the little ones to get back to our roots is the opportunity, which is given to us by the Devine.

    BTW If any adult thinks he/she knows better has probably not seen his/her self in the mirror in a long time.


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