Family Roots and its Values
When watching a sci-fi movie I suddenly thought of a world where people were all like robots, dressed in a particular way, spoke in a way, and behaved like clones. The thought sent a shiver down my spine—imagine a world without color and distinctions.
I know the world is now global and horizons are melting. Kids are all watching the same movies, humming the same songs, and interacting online, in the same social networking sites. In this globalized community what is it that made us individuals—perhaps its who we are, our genetic stamp?
In the case of plants the deeper the roots the stronger and taller the tree—so perhaps it is important for our kids to know a little about family heritage, its values and so on.
Make it fun
Getting to know family roots need not be boring. It should go beyond visits to the ancestral village/home or place of worship. Often we as parents fail to realize that what may seem dear to us may be boring for our kids. I grew up in a fairly westernized family and never understood much about my culture.
Only when I began working on books did I gain an understanding of how my heritage could be traced back to Aryan migrations over 5000 years ago. There are wonderful stories, films and books that could bring alive history for your kids.
Fox history has some wonderful films. Try and start a family tree online and inspire the kids to fill in the blanks—let them unravel their past and gain knowledge of self.
Go beyond the mundane
Rituals, praying, and pilgrimages, very often have little or no meaning for kids. Forcing them to participate without understanding only leads to resistance.
These days kids grow up with an ability to question ‘why’ so as parents we must prepare to lead them down the path of knowing ‘why.’ It should not be “I am doing this because my mother and grandmother did.”
So bring alive festivals and other occasions for kids by letting them discover. Ever thought of setting kids a challenge and allowing them to plan a holiday to solve the challenge?
To share a bit of my childhood, my father introduced to us the concept of how fire, earth, air, and water, were important to mother earth. He also took us on a fun holiday to visit temples in South India where the deity worshiped was an element. He explained that if humans worshiped this way, they were less likely to destroy and so the concept really sunk in.
It’s about pride
Inculcate from a young age a sense of pride in family and deep bonds. Even in a nuclear family setup, one can deepen bonds with cousins and more by holding family get-togethers and banding together in times of need. If a family member is sick take the kids to visit—teach them the importance of helping and caring.
A friend of mine has a son who is always there if a member of the family needs blood, is hospitalized or dies. She (his mother) is very proud that he has a deep sense of family—in fact I grew up with her and know that all her son is doing is just following in her footsteps.
I remember as youngsters if there was a death in the neighborhood, she would be there with a flask of tea/coffee offering food and help “even” if she did not know the family well. Think about creating a family group on a social networking site so that members all over the world can stay connected. Sharing joys, thoughts, and more will deepen love and more.
Standing tall and strong to develop family roots
Strong and deep roots will result in kids who grow up with a sense of self, family values and pride. They will be able to cleave a place for themselves in a global world and live a life that is full and happy—with a sense of belonging. They will have answers to Who am I, Where do I come from?