When a tree begins to emerges from the ground, it is in the form of what appears to be a feeble sapling. Its stem doesn’t as yet have the capacity to weather a storm. So, at this time, what does the little plant do? It becomes the epitome of gentleness. If a strong wind blows, it doesn’t try to combat it. Instead, it bends in just the direction as the wind wants to take it. It willingly adjusts to the situation, without protesting. It is the epitome of humility.
Some years later, the very same plant has become a big tree. It is now firmly established on the basis of a thick trunk which has sent roots deep into the ground. Supremely unaffected by the wind, it stands confident and erect. It is no longer a mere ‘plant’. It is now a sturdy tree.
This example from the world of nature provides valuable lessons for child-rearing. Like a tiny plant that gradually grows into a firmly-rooted tree, a child needs a certain period to grow into a mature adult capable of successfully negotiating the world. In this period, it needs to learn the values and virtues of humility and gentleness and the art of adjusting with others values that are epitomised by a small plant.
But along with this, the child also needs to be nurtured in the values that are necessary to become capable of standing erect on its feet as an adult. Parents must guide their children, in a well planned way, keeping in mind how they want their children to become when they become adults. Their parenting style must be such as will enable their children to grow up into a person who can confidently manage the challenges of the world. Great care needs to be given to provide the child with the inputs it needs to become a person who stands firmly rooted in certain values and principles, like a big tree that is firmly rooted in the ground and doesn’t collapse in the wind.
Many parents work hard to provide their children with what they regard as education in a ‘good’ school, with good food and clothes and with many other material comforts. They think that in doing this they are expressing their love for their children and fulfilling their parental responsibilities. But often they completely ignore the value dimension altogether. If children are brought up in the lap of material comfort and with the ‘best’ of school education but not given the necessary value inputs by their parents, it won’t be any surprise if they go completely astray and ruin their precious life.