How Do I Explain?

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Aug 14, 2004
Waheguru ji ka khalsa Waheguru ji ki fateh
I have been struggling with this alone ever since I became mother. When I married my Gursikh husband in spite of the pressure from my siblings to keep my options open to mone sikh for matrimony, I did not even dream that it will become such an issue for us at later stage. I obviosly took the challenge unknowingly. We are amritdhari couple and so are our children.
As we became parents, my husband has become really protective of our kids as far as our interaction with mone relatives are concerned. Okay, I can interact with them at my own where I have to, but how do I explain to my children who are now 10-13 yr old that why mom still loves and cares about her siblings/their kids who have made non-sikh choices? Am I contradicting myself, when I teach them sikhi values, Bana and Bani being integral parts to a Sikh's life on one hand and on the other hand fulfilling my family obligations for mone relatives? Where do we set the limit as far as giving place to such relatives in our family life who are clearly 'doshi of panth', yet can't be separated from our lives. We are all humans and I beleive that even dried trees become green one day as long as the roots are there. After all they are from Sikh families, have sikh roots....they hear and watch a lot that goes on in those mixed families as per Sikh maryada. How can I give up on them? Please advice me how to handle this with my children at this impressionable age.
Thank you,


ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
Jul 14, 2007
Emotional coaching consists of the following steps:
  • Being aware of the child’s emotions. Emotional awareness means that you recognize when you’re feeling an emotion, you can identify your feelings and you are sensitive to the presence of emotions in other people. Children—like all people—have reasons for their emotions, whether than can articulate those reasons or not. A 3-year-old can’t tell you “I’m sorry I’ve been so cranky lately; it’s just that I’ve been under a lot of stress since I moved to a new day care center.” An 8-year-old probably won’t tell you “I feel so tense when I feel you and Dad bicker over money,” but that may be what he’s feeling.
  • Recognizing the emotion as an opportunity for intimacy and teaching. While some parents try to ignore children’s negative feelings in hope that they will go away, emotions rarely work that way. Instead, negative feelings dissipate when children can talk about their emotions, label them and feel understood. It makes sense, therefore, to acknowledge low levels of emotion early on before they escalate into full-blown crises. Addressing feelings that are low in intensity before they escalate also gives families a chance to practice listening and problem-solving skills while the stakes are small. Your child learns that you are his ally and the two of you figure out how to collaborate. Then if a big crisis occurs, you are prepared to face it together.
  • Listening empathetically and validating the child’s feelings. As your child reveals his feelings, reflect back what you hear and notice. This will assure your child that you’re listening carefully and that you think his feelings are valid. Tuning into your child’s emotions requires that you pay attention to his/her body language, facial expressions and gestures as well. It’s better to reflect simply what you notice. You can say “You seem a little tired today,” or “I noticed that you frowned when you mentioned the recital,” and wait for her response.
  • Helping the child verbally label emotions. Help your kids find words to describe what they are feeling. Providing words in this way can help children transform a scary uncomfortable feeling into something definable and is a normal part of every day life. Anger, sadness, hurt, tension and fear become experiences everyone has and everyone can handle. This doesn’t mean telling kids how they ought to feel. It simply means helping them develop the vocabulary with which to express their emotions.
  • Setting limits while helping the child problem-solve. This process includes identifying goals, thinking of and evaluating possible solutions, helping your child choose a solution and helping the child understand that certain behaviors are inappropriate and can’t be tolerated. When children choose a solution to a problem that doesn’t work out, help then analyze why it’s failing. Then you can start problems solving anew. This teaches kids that scrapping one idea does not mean the effort is a total failure. Point out that it’s all part of the learning process and that each adjustment brings them closer to a successful outcome.
Emotionally intelligent children are the ones who are far more likely to eventually be successful in love and in work.

Source: Raising An Emotionally Intelligent Child by John Gottman (Simon and Schuster).


Jul 31, 2007
My understanding says that you should not stop meeting mone relatives and should not worry about your children getting away from the panth.

- Love your children and tell them the importance of humility in being a sikh rather than pride cos pushed pride from someone outside usually leads to fanaticism and moving away from the Guru. The true pride will originate once they come to know the truth themselves. Tell them the humility that all the Gurus had, love them and show them how a humble life is so important, how a purpose of a sikh is to be humble and be a friend to all and love all. I'm sure once they understand it they will not go astray.

- Give freedom to your children to be mone if they want, but at the same time make them understand that it is going to take a full circle and they will one day come back to roots so why not remain there. Be sure that Guru will be with them always.

I don't know if I have made any sense or whether I am able to express my feelings fully... I just tried



Sep 16, 2004
Dear Prabjyot ji

I am just giving my views as I truly feel at the moment after reading ur post.Plz forgive me if it appears to much suggestive.

The problem you are facing is now becoming very common in our community as now we have large number of families with sehajdhari sikhs ( Mona Sikhs).

As you have have siad that you made your choice when you maried a Gursikh that seems to be the answer to your question !
Now its your childerns turn to make choices dont feel bad when their choice seems to be bad in your understanding .

Not interacting with Mona Sikhs aint going to work ! for sure I dont know why your husband made such a choice . Such a move confuse kids or worse they will silenltly consider you and in total whole Gursikh community to be weak at some level . as avioding a such situation proves it .What is wrong with interacting with Mona Sikhs I still could not understand when 99.9% are anyway monas around any sikh living abroad or evem outside punjab in India
I will write more once I get oint yu want to make so plz elaborate more in ur post

In short in my opinion your greater concern should be being gursikh yourself as a couple and if Kids find it to be right thing ting they will follow for sure otherwise they have to make their choices and for how long you will be able to stop them.

Jatinder Singh

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