Mahatma Gandhi’s best known teaching is that of non-violence or “ahinsa”. In fact, his birthday or Gandhi Jayanti on October 2 is internationally celebrated as the International Day of Non Violence. As a mom, it is important to teach your kids peace and nonviolence so that they grow up as amiable, happy adults!
The reasons to teach kids about non violence are plenty – especially in this age of turmoil, crime and hatred! Children are highly responsive to external stimuli and everything from an encounter with a neighborhood bully to a violent video game can trigger confusing emotions in them. It is up to you to impart non violence education for kids as a responsible mom.
4 Innovative Ideas for Raising a Non Violent Child
1. You Grow Up When You Forgive
Kids always want to grow up fast and do what Mummy and Daddy do – watch TV, stay up late, et al. Tell them that forgiveness is the mature thing to do when someone says sorry. The school kid who stole his tiffin-box says “I am sorry”? Teach your child to say “It’s okay” instead of picking up a fight. Forgiving and moving on is the adult thing to do1!
2. Violence is Noisy and Ugly
To raise non-violent children, it is crucial to maintain a peaceful environment at home. Try to avoid these fighting or having loud arguments in front of the children. When kids are exposed to violent television programming or news stories, use them as an opportunity to showcase just how ugly violence is. The point is not to keep your kids oblivious to the reality of life but teach them that they have the power to live peacefully. Avoid violence-inducing toys such as guns at all costs!
3. Peace Can Win You Brownie Points
No, we don’t suggest material rewards! What you must do is expose your kids to situations and conversations where they need to decide between two courses of action – violence vs. non-violence. It could be dealing with the classmate who falsely complained to the class teacher, or the street dog who made a mess in the courtyard. Compliment them when they choose interesting, peaceful solutions such as discussion, conversation and innovation.
4. Smart Kids Use Only Non-Violent Solutions for Problems
Children love feeling responsible and grown-up. Reinforce the point that they must find non-violent resolutions to everyday situations. Slapping, kicking and shouting is what everyone can do! If they are smart, they must find clever workarounds to problems. And this applies to requesting Mamma to stay up late as well. Throwing a violent tantrum is not what smart kids should do!
Finally, remember that you have to lead by example. You are your child’s role model; you are the super mom and you can’t do anything wrong! Try to maintain peace at home – from your family interactions to workplace stress to disciplining kids – and your little ones will learn from you every day!