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Photo copyright Suresh Gundappa 2006

Parents cannot help it, because they have ideas, ambitions, desires — unfulfilled. They want to fulfill them, they want to go on living through their children. Naturally, they prune, they cut, they mould, they give a pattern to the children. And the children are destroyed.

If you really love the child, you will not give your ideas to the child. Love never gives any ideas, never any ideology. Love gives freedom. You will not mould. If your child wants to become a musician, you will not try to distract him. And you know perfectly well that being a musician is not the right kind of job to be in, that he will be poor, that he will never become very rich, that he will never become a Henry Ford. Or the child wants to be a poet and you know he will remain a beggar. You know it! but you accept it because you respect the child.

Love is always respectful. Love is reverence. You respect! because if this is God’s desire to be fulfilled through the child, then let it be so. You don’t interfere, you don’t come in the way. You don’t say, “This is not right. I know life more, I have lived life — you are just ignorant of life and its experiences. I know what money means. Poetry is not going to give you money. Become a politician, rather! or at least become an engineer or a doctor.” And the child wants to become a woodcutter, or the child wants to become a cobbler, or the child simply wants to become a vagabond, and he wants to enjoy life… rest under trees, and on the sea beaches, and roam around the world.
You don’t interfere if you love; you say, “Okay, with my blessings you go. You seek and search your truth. You be whatsoever you want to be. I will not stand in your way. And I will not disturb you by my experiences — because my experiences are my experiences. You are not me. You may have come through me, but you are not me — you are not a copy of me. You are NOT to be a copy of me. You are not to imitate me. I have lived my life — you live your life. I will not burden you with my unlived experiences. I will not burden you with my unfulfilled desires. I will keep you light. And I will help you — whatsoever you want to be, be! with all my blessings and with all my help.”

Don’t try to make your child carbon copy of yours. You are enough in this world .with all negatives and positives you are unique in this world. Existence is so unique and beautiful that nothing is duplicated. If it is duplicated then it has to be the same.

Your ambition and your failed dreams are hurting your child. Don’t confuse my talk with child behaviour. I am not telling you that if he is throwing stone at neighbours house you don’t reprimand him all i am telling you is don’t shape up his thinking, don’t make him robotic replication of yours. Allow him to explore. Allow him to fail and encourage behind him to fail.

Teach child silence, Teach child how to dance, Teach child to rebel, teach child to laugh and love. Don’t teach child to follow rigid principles . Expose him to every religion and every writing of the world. let him find his roots.

The function of the parents is not how to help the children grow — they will grow without you. Your function is to support, to nourish, to help what is already growing. Don’t give directions and don’t give ideals. Don’t tell them what is right and what is wrong: let them find it by their own experience.

Only one thing you can do, and that is share your own life. Tell them that you have been conditioned by your parents, that you have lived within certain limits, according to certain ideals, and because of these limits and ideals you have missed life completely, and you don’t want to destroy your children’s life. You want them to be totally free — free of you, because to them you represent the whole past.

Love your children, enjoy their freedom. Let them commit mistakes, help them to see where they have committed a mistake. Tell them, “To commit mistakes is not wrong — commit as many mistakes as possible, because that is the way you will be learning more. But don’t commit the same mistake again and again, because that makes you stupid.”

No parents like to think of their children remaining unhappy; they want them to be happy. It is just that their thinking is wrong. They think if they become doctors, if they become professors, engineers, scientists, then they will be happy. They don’t know! They can only be happy if they become what they have come to become. They can only become the seed that they are carrying within themselves.

So help in every possible way to give freedom, to give opportunities. Ordinarily, if a child asks a mother anything, without even listening to the child, to what he is asking, the mother simply says no. “No” is an authoritative word; “yes” is not. So neither father nor mother or anybody else who is in authority wants to say yes — to any ordinary thing.

The child wants to play outside the house: “No!” The child wants to go out while it is raining and wants to dance in the rain: “No! You will get a cold.” A cold is not a cancer, but a child who has been prevented from dancing in the rain, and has never been able again to dance, has missed something great, something really beautiful. A cold would have been worthwhile — and it is not that he will necessarily have a cold. In fact the more you protect him, the more he becomes vulnerable. The more you allow him, the more he becomes immune.

Parents have to learn to say yes. In ninety-nine times when they ordinarily say no, it is for no other reason than simply to show authority. Everybody cannot become the president of the country, cannot have authority over millions of people. But everybody can become a husband, can have authority over his wife; every wife can become a mother, can have authority over the child; every child can have a teddy bear, and have authority over the teddy bear… kick him from this corner to the other corner, give him good slaps, slaps that he really wanted to give to the mother or to father. And the poor teddy bear has nobody below him.

Every child is born as a Immense potential of endless possibilities but they just lose their way.

The function of a father or a mother is great, because they are bringing a new guest into the world — who knows nothing, but who brings some potential in him. And unless his potential grows, he will remain unhappy.

Love and lots of it dear ones