The party was in full swing. People were drinking merrily, while munching on sumptuous snacks on offer. I was in a group in an animated discussion on some current topic when a young lad approached his father who was in the group and sought his permission to have a drink. His father, who had a glass of beer in his hand, sternly refused him and the boy made a long face and left.
One being enquired this man told me that he refused his child to drink because “drinking is not good”. Little did he realise that the same logic applies to him also. Surely, the child must be wondering why it is okay for his father to drink, but it is not okay for him to drink. Later, I came to know that the boy did indulge in drinking at the same party.
Whether you are an occasional drinker or not, all your good as well as bad habits affects your children who absorb it like sponge. And these are the daily opportunities where parents can be role models by practicing what they preach.
As Lord Krishna says, “Whatever a superior person does, others follow. People placed in higher positions must set standards for the common person.” (Bhagavad Gita 3.22-24).
The question is: Do we love ourselves as much as our children? If we do then we need to start correcting ourselves as we cannot be hypocrites in front of our children.
First, we must create a right image of ourselves by sustained good behaviour such that our children genuinely respect us and not just follow us blindly. Any discrepancy in what we practice with what we preach set a wrong example for our children.
Second, one needs to become friends with the person one wishes to reform otherwise he or she will not listen. Parents need an intelligent and honest approach to ensure that their children listen. Besides preaching, it is what they practice that children grasp as we must remember that we cannot force a change. Any attempt to force a change can prove to be counter-productive.
Third, strengthening the well-being of your child by inculcating moral values like honesty, integrity, self-discipline, etc. not only will ensure welfare of our children but will also improve us a human beings. We must remember parents can never teach their children until they practice what they preach.