Love your children the way they want to be loved

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men”—Frederick Douglass

A few months ago, I got a chance to read “The 5 Love Languages of Children” by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell. The book is an ocean of parenting wisdom and I was lucky enough to grab some pearls from this vast ocean. Since then, I have made a conscious attempt to understand my children and find what type of love language they want to hear from me. The focus of the book is to determine your child’s primary love language to help improve his or her emotional health. Authors have beautifully captured the idea of need for love and affection as basic emotional needs of a child. The emotional and social challenges encountered by a child are due to not being adequately loved. Here is an excerpt from the book, which I found very helpful. “Inside every child is an emotional tank waiting to be filled with love. When a child really feels loved, he will develop normally, but when the love tank is empty, child will misbehave. Much of the misbehavior of children is motivated by the cravings of an empty love tank.” However, it is important to use the right tool to fill that emotional tank. In other words, you need to understand what kind of love your kid expects from you. You need to understand whether your child needs some quality time or frequent words of encouragement. Then, you can make a real difference in your children’s life.

Every day, I am filling in little more in the emotional love tank of my entire family. It is hard to see if the tank is still empty, but there is no harm in overfilling, even if you pour more love than the tank’s capacity, it is always good for your children and the entire family, for love is all that matters.

“Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children”—Charles R. Swindoll.

Lessons to Learn from FIFA World Cup

“ We could all be winners if we learn the lessons that sport teaches us, strengthening the bonds that unite us’’— Pope Francis

The FIFA cup fever and frenzy may be over now after Germany won the title for the 4th time. But, this world cup taught several lessons to us and there are some solid takeaways not only for the football players in the making, but all of us.

• Nothing and no one can beat the dedication and superior performance. Conversely, no amount of advantage can compensate for lack of better performance. Clearly, Brazil, the winner of 5 titles failed to take the advantage of playing in the home ground and did not make it to the finals and lost the third place as well.

• Every member of a team is important and hence, everyone needs to contribute and not just one superstar. Football is much like a family, where it is important that all the family members contribute and give their best to realize the family dream and preserve the values. There is no single superstar in most of the successful families. Everyone member is the superstar.

• Winning and losing is a part of the game, but the most important thing is not quitting. Lionel Messi, the best football player by all standards displayed a wonderful performance throughout the tournament and really tried very hard in the finals, when the pressure was mounting high.

• Accepting the defeat gracefully is another great lesson taught by football world cup. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you lose or you fail. But, one must understand that failure is not the end of the world. If you will keep your head cool you will get enough chances to reverse the past failures. Wait for the right moment like Germany did to even the score with Argentina.

“Play the game for more than you can afford to lose… only then will you learn the game”—Winston Churchill

Teach to learn before you learn to teach

“Everybody who is incapable of learning has taken to teaching”—Oscar Wilde
Our best learning moments are those when we try to teach others. Whenever, my children come to me with their problems, I tell them an old story related to their problems with a moral and teach them how to tackle these problems. At the end, I discover that I had learnt more from those stories than my children did. I truly believe that I have found a new meaning of those words which I heard from my parents and teachers during my childhood. It is as though God wanted me to see those morals in a new light and apply each one of them in my personal life. At that moment, I thank God for leading me towards the path of knowledge. I look for those cute little problems to solve, not because I am a problem-solver, but I can discvoer something new from those moments. Make the most of your teaching moments because you will gain a new perspective or learn a lesson or two while teaching others. Never emphasize the right way of teaching, but always find the right way of learning and guess what you will never have to put in more effort.

“The teacher is the one who gets the most out of the lessons, and the true teacher is the learner”—Elbert Hubbard.

Stop looking for an Eraser when you need a Sharpener

Oftentimes, I would keep telling myself, “I wish, I had a magic eraser with which I could erase all the mistakes I have made as well as bad memories associated with those mistakes.” In fact, many of us want to go back in time and write-off many mistakes. One day while meditating, I realized that we are humans and we are bound to make mistakes and instead of erasing our mistakes and dwelling in past, we need to sharpen our skills so that we do not make such mistakes in future. When we make mistakes we don’t want to admit those mistakes and keep those as guiding posts for our lives, but what we want at that time is to hide those mistakes from others by erasing them.

Be the change

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world”—Mahatma Gandhi.

I believe true wisdom comes in quiet moments. One day, while unwinding myself on a recliner, I was telling my son to sit straight (who was slouching on the couch) and get into some activity instead of just dawdling during the summer break. I did not get a favorable response from him though. But then I realized that I cannot expect him to change before I lead the change. So, the moral of the story is that you cannot expect your 11 years old child to sit straight or do something when you are relaxing. No matter how tired you are after working hours in the kitchen (cooking, dishwashing etc.) and running other errands, you have to draw energy from an unlimited reservoir within and get going. So, in an instant, I stood up and started walking briskly for a few minutes and then I assigned myself a project of organizing my closet. While I got busy in my task, I realized that my son was sitting upright on the chair, with his summer reading activity. The true wisdom that I got in the quiet moments of summer afternoon is

• Do not preach about staying active while unwinding on the recliner.
• Lead the change to bring about the change in others (near and dear ones).
• Change your attitude because you may not what other person is going through when you are expecting big changes.

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude”—Maya Angelou.