January 30, 2012

spiritual parenting notes: from Mr. Furutan's book, "Mothers, Fathers & Children"

i found 2 pages of notes today that i wrote many years ago about spiritual parenting.  they are taken from Mr. Furutan's book, "Mothers, Fathers and Children".  i loved that book!  we gave it away to a friend when it was time for us to leave America.

Mr. Furutan was a psychologist and a very deepened Baha'i who served as a Hand of the Cause of God for many years until he passed away in 2003.  these notes have proven invaluable to us as parents as we've striven to raise our children.  even writing these notes down today inspired me to be more kind, more patient, more forbearing..

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  •  treat child's demands in such a way that child's pride and determination are not wounded and weakened..you do not let him get carried away by his selfish desires and grow up to be autocratic and dictatorial
  • determine which demands are reasonable and logical and which are unacceptable and harmful
  • vow not to block any reasonable and logical demands which the child may have, and do not give into inappropriate, unreasonable or harmful demands
  • be strict and systematic:
    • give consent to reasonable requests with utmost kindness and forbearance, but never submit to his harmful wishes
    • child will learn that his demands fall into 2 categories: worthy and unworthy
  • teach child through utmost patience and forbearance
    • patiently and tolerantly answer questions and explain the outside world to child as far as possible, using simple words (like Abdu'l-Baha)
    • never deride child's questions
  • inappropriate praise and admiration of a child leads him into complacency and pride, and can ruin his morals and behavior
  • encouragement and expressions of appreciation should not be confused with unwarranted admiration
    • good acts merit appreciation appreciation, while exaggerated praise and excessive admiration are both blameworthy and harmful
  • immediately distract child with more interesting things to protect him from a dangerous action, rather than taking forcible measures
  • extreme strictness and always being on his back with inappropriate regulations and restraints makes a child nervous and then rebellious
  • train in such a way that the slightest lack of attention is in itself the greatest punishment
    • this goal can only be achieved through kindness and use of soft speech
  • under no circumstances whatsoever should we assume any attitude except that of gentleness and humility
  • when joking is carried too far, it will overstep bounds of courtesy and dignity
    • child eventually becomes rude, insolent and cheeky toward adults
    • leads innocent child into impropriety
      • injury may result from his offensive words
    • is a habit which leads to excess
    • attracts children toward buffoonery and introduces them into a society as light-minded, undignified and discourteous
  • when children are shown no respect by other people, their delicate, sensitive hearts will be injured by sarcastic words (which they don't realize are meant to be a joke)
    • their souls will become saddened and vexed
    • they will become accustomed to insults and abuse
      • these have innumerable, pernicious effects on their development
  • teasing should be done away with altogether
  • adults should converse with children with the utmost love, affection, respect, politeness, and dignity, and in simple language
    • in accordance with their capacities and level of comprehension
    • increase the child's limited knowledge as much as possible in that brief conversation
    • if they want to make them happy, tell a fascinating story
      • children thirst for new and beneficial information, but they want adults to use simple and understanding language in their explanations
    • rarely do children avoid listening to serious subjects that are made understandable to them
    • instead of talking nonsense and joking, and having empty conversations with children, explain essential matters to them, using easy to understand language and employing many examples
      • this will make children better informed and instill into them the desire to seek out knowledge, to investigate scientific subjects, and to think and reason logically

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