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How Do I Make My Son Visit Gurudwara

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by raminder40, Jul 22, 2010.

  1. raminder40

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    May 25, 2010
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    May be what I am facing,many more will be facing the same concern,ie our youngsters not visiting Gurudwaras on a more regular basis.Here I share my concern about my son.

    He is 11 years old being bought-up in a nuclear family with the best of sikhi atmosphere at home. He is aware about the sikh history and is particularly inspired by chote sahabjades. He is very particular and proud of his sikhi -swaroop and amongst his peers is dominant if he is bullied about him being a sikh.
    My professional commitments keep me too occupied the whole week because of which its only on Sundays that we are able to visit the local gurdwara where weekly diwans are held. Since Sundays happen to be my son’s off from school also, he is not in mood to accompany us (in the mornings) to gurdwara inspite of our requests and other means to convince him.
    During his early years also he had the same hesitation but somehow I could make him accompany me by telling him things like…that Babaji is waiting for you with a gift in gurdwara….where a gift of his liking was already planted by me.He used to feel happy after having the planted gift at a designated place in gurdwara but over a period of time ,such tactics are also not working on him. He is happy to go to gurdwara in case some of his close friends are also visiting. Why he wants his friends to be along simply so that they can do the seva together and also to play around. I have realized that he has no patience to sit quietly for few hours to listen kirtan and gurbani vichar, which is a serious delima for me now as these are his formative years.
    May be learned forum members can suggest me something which can really make my son more interested in gurdwara on a more regular basis though, as of now I don’t doubt his faith and confidence in being a sihk.
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  3. Archived_Member16

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    SPNer Thinker

    Jan 7, 2005
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    For your consideration:

    Teaching Kids About Spirituality

    by Lain Chroust Ehmann

    According to some experts, spirituality can help kids make their way through life. Having a spiritual grounding can help kids deal with crisis, resist peer pressure, and avoid negative influences such as drugs and alcohol, says Lisa Miller, PhD, professor of psychotherapy and spirituality at Teachers College, Columbia University. According to Dr. Miller, studies have shown that a relationship with the Divine, however you define the term, is "the most protective element for children."

    Debunking Misconceptions

    Knowing how to "talk faith" can be tough. This is especially true for adults who grew up without a spiritual education, who married someone of a different religion, or who don't feel comfortable with traditional religious teachings.

    Often, though, what keeps people from assuming the role of family spiritual leader are misconceptions about what spirituality is and how to convey it to children.

    Myth #1: Spirituality and Religion Are the Same Thing.

    One of the most prevalent misconceptions about spirituality is that it's synonymous with religion. But that's not necessarily true. Spirituality means "honoring our connection to our creation and our creator," says Patricia McWhorter, PhD, author of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated book, Cry of Our Native Soul: Our Instinct for Creation-Centered Spirituality .

    Even if you don't believe in the traditional concept of "God," you can live spiritually by recognizing you're connected to all living things, and by paying attention to and respecting those connections, says Dr. McWhorter.
    "It's not about going to church on Sunday at all," she explains. "It's about how you live your life."

    Whether you practice a traditional religion or whether your idea of spirituality leans toward the need to respect the earth, you can still convey your ideas to your children. What's important is not the nomenclature, but the connection to something larger than the individual. With that sense of connection comes "a sense of companionship," says Dr. Miller, which, in turn, makes kids more resilient to life's troubles, both big and small.

    Myth #2: Kids Don't Really Care About This Stuff.

    "At a very young age, kids start asking the same philosophical and existential questions that people have asked for millennia," says Chris Boyatzis, PhD, associate professor of psychology at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. "Kids are genuinely interested and concerned about these questions."

    Don't underestimate your children's curiosity; just as they're sure one day to ask why the sky is blue, they're going to wonder what happens when we die, where we came from, and why the world works the way it does.

    Myth #3: I Don't Know All the Answers, so Why Even Bring Up the Topic?

    Children, especially young ones, are notorious for asking all kinds of questions, including unanswerable ones. When it comes to issues of faith, though, you don't need all the answers. In fact, helping your child to sort things out independently can be more important than knowing the "right" response to his or her various queries.

    Dr. Boyatzis speaks of the importance of "establishing spiritual dialogue," which means not only sharing your beliefs, but also asking your child about his or hers.

    "Turn the questions around," he suggests. "Get them to think about these issues." Think of your role as parent as not the supplier of answers, but as the provider of a language about which you can discuss faith-oriented topics.

    Myth #4: It's Too Hard to Teach Young Children Abstract Concepts.

    Any parent knows that when explaining tough concepts to kids, it's best to keep things in simple terms. While it can be difficult to simplify concepts like "faith" and "spirit," our actions are more important than our words.

    "Faith is not just what we say, but what we do," says Dr. Boyatzis.

    To teach a child to live a spiritual life, parents should start with themselves. Examine your own beliefs and faith and ask the tough questions. Why do you think we're here? What are your beliefs regarding God or a creator? How should we treat each other? What values are important in your life? How can you demonstrate these on a daily basis?

    Rather than teaching grand lessons about life and philosophy, it's more effective to use the little moments to guide your children. Don't overlook the power of thankfulness. Something as easy as listing the gifts in your life or saying a simple "thank you" before a meal can be a spiritual experience.

    Forgetting About Perfection

    Regardless of your own upbringing or current beliefs, you can give your child the gift of a spiritual upbringing. And, like most areas of parenting, you don't have to be perfect.

    "It's about doing the best you can," says Dr. Miller.

    Last reviewed by Brian Randall, MD

    source: http://patton.lexipal.com/article/14285
  4. a.mother

    a.mother Canada
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    Jun 13, 2010
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    Sat sri akal,
    I think you are entering in hard era with your son, I had suffer through same thing. I think there is no quick solution for this .I think you have to be little technical with him,try to go to gurudwara when his freinds are there,or make plan with them or plan langer sewa time to time and invite all family and freinds so he 'll be with his freinds in gurudwara,and you said he never sits that long where the sangat sit. some times its ok . You can ask 1st sit with sangat for an hour or less or more and then go to langer hall bitt sewa there and come back and sit so he don't feel bore. Just give him little-bit flaxibility. May be it 'll work. He is still very young you still have good time to give him right path, try to visit more frequently but short visit( I know its heard with todays schedules but we have to do it ). You know what use to say to my son 'je tusi baithe na ta babaji gusse ho jange te babaji onna te bahut khush hunde hai jo chngi tra baithde hai te rola nhi ponde.
    I wish you good luck with him.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Charan

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    Mar 16, 2010
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    If a child does not want to eat broccoli, and you tell him a hundred times to eat it, he will start to dislike it even more than he thought he did in the first place. If you tell him it's ok that he doesn't eat it if he doesn't want to, he might give it a chance. For me it worked that religion was never forced on me. I was ofcourse encouraged to do things the Sikh way, but never forced. But ofcourse, it differs from individual to individual. Some people need that extra push.

    And also, I think Waheguru prefers that you go to the Gurudwara because you want to, and not because you have to. You should ofcourse encourage your son to go to the gurudwara, but do not force him. Remember to explain why it is important to visit the Gurudwara. Indian parents have a tendency to say do this and that, without explaining why this and that has to be done.
    • Like Like x 2
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