My learning on people started in IIPM classrooms... in classes of Dr N R Chatterjee and Dr J K Mitra – both ex Deans of FMS Delhi, my gurus, gods of psychology and great human beings. Their classes made me so mesmerised that though I took finance as my elective, I attended all classes of HR too and became a very keen student of psychology and behavioural sciences. With time, this took me beyond classroom books to the world of Eric Berne's Transactional Analysis to books like ‘Born to Win’ to the world of Sigmund Freud and Karl Jung. At one point of time in my life, I went so much into this that I ended up reading semimedical books like abnormal psychology etc! After I became a leadership trainer, the learning only kept growing. But all that was nothing till my son, Che, was born in the year that marked the beginning of the new millennium!

It’s been almost ten years now and the human behaviour I have focussed upon most during this decade has been child behaviour. I have since then almost raised four kids. No, they aren’t all mine! But one can find me oft en with them in my free time – Che and the three other kids of my three friends! And I hope I have been raising them happily to become happy kids! Today, speaking on kids – how to bring them up – in informal and formal forums like schools etc has become one of my favourite topics, simply because the more I see parents around me – stressed and successful – the more I see their kids going wrong! I will share here only a few key things which decide if we are fit to be parents and raise happy kids or not.

I have seen we mostly bring up kids without realising that this is our biggest contribution to this earth and its well being. The kids who had a grandfather who always told them that one day they will become Presidents of the USA and gave them that confidence from their early childhood actually went on to become John F Kennedy and Robert Kennedy. At the same time, the kid of the boy from an abusive family with constant negative reinforcements went on to become Lee Oswald, the man who murdered John F Kennedy. What I am trying to say is that we are the ones who will decide if tomorrow’s world will be a happy world or a sad world. Children are what we make of them. Today, science has also proven beyond all doubts that genes decide less than a percent of human beings psychology. It’s their upbringing that decides it. Genes only determine various biological aspects inside the body, and not psychological. Neither does a kid become great because of genes nor useless because of the same. We make what a kid is to become; so we parents – and to some extent teachers – are wholly responsible for what he becomes.

That brings us to the point: So what should we do to bring up great kids and become worthy of being parents? Well, if there is just one thing we must believe in and we must tell our kids – and I have always told all kids – it is, “Love is more important than material things.” It is almost like the magic potion for happiness. We need to believe “passionately” that love is more important than any material item in this world. If we don’t believe in it but tell our kids the same, one day they will question us about why we’re not following the same philosophy we preached. And all the teaching will go waste. But once you believe in it passionately, things will all be different. You just have to keep explaining this to your child from the age of 6 months – only this simple line. And before 6 months? Just love him endlessly through physical touch and positive reinforcements and smiles. That’s our only job as parents.     Read More....

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