In this modern age, family closeness has been threatened by a competitive culture and great technological change. Many families are suffering from such issues as separation, turmoil, selfishness and for some, domestic violence. Traditional education within the family and neighborhood structure has been overtaken by television.
While television in moderation can play a positive role in children’s lives, excessive viewing and using the television as a babysitter has resulted in children learning predominantly negative values, including the presentation of a false idea of what equates to happiness and fulfillment. When the whole family is swayed by the false ideology of pursuing outer happiness at the expense of inner contemplation, everyone feels unhappiness. In this article, you’ll learn how to begin shaping a spiritually happy family.
- Create a family identity. Forging a family identity together can create a sense of cohesion and purpose as a family. Begin by finding a family motto that each member of the family has contributed to, whether by way of words, ideas, or reflections.
- What will your family motto be? Write a family vision statement. Describe your family’s goals and dreams. Also write down what your family likes to do.
- Work together. A happy family depends on teamwork. Every member of the family should feel that he or she has a stake in wanting to have a happy family life. Create guidelines in your family for how you can work together as a team.
- Start with simple chores and work your way up to shared vacation plans and learning new things together.
- Nurture your children’s positive features. The first step to guiding your children to become resilient is to foster positive values. The most important values are love, wisdom, self discipline, inner peace and happiness.
- Explain to your family that the property of love means that you are positive to yourself, to your family, and to the whole world. Encourage each of your children to live for the happiness of all beings and, at the same time, develop their own happiness.
- Show children that wisdom is to live healthily, to think positively, to read spiritual books, and to relax often enough. As a parent, recognize that it is difficult to educate some children to wisdom when they like to eat sweets, watch TV, and do only what they want to. As children grow, they are in a constant struggle between short- and long-term thinking, and as a parent, it is your role to guide them in learning how to tune into their deeper selves, to delay instant gratification, and to realize the virtues of self-discipline.
- Turn your children into winners. Ally yourself with the wisdom within your children and strengthen their predominantly positive characteristics. The best approach is to emphasize the positive actions and traits and to ignore their negative behavior, if this is possible.
- Lead by example: be strong, clear, and show them the value of freedom to make choices and to think for themselves. Children learn primarily by watching positive role models, with education supplementing what they have already learned from those they trust and love the most.
- Create the environment for inner peace. Inner peace is very important for every family. Protect your children from sensory overload, which means in particular, protecting them from too much television.
- One hour of quality TV per day is the maximum amount suitable for children. While it would be even better to abolish the TV, few families have the courage to go to this extent. Instead, be sure to provide your children with regular and clear structures within the family environment. Through instituting routine and good examples in the household, peace will descend upon the family and your children will immediately pick up on the change for the better.
- Encourage and guide your children to implement their own sense of self-discipline. A long-term positive and fulfilling life is only possible when we grow into adults with a sound sense of self-discipline, and the sooner you are able to provide the means for this in their lives, the better.
- Read How to raise no TV children, How to get your children away from TV, and How to set television rules for your kids.
- Anchor all thoughts in the positive. Encourage all family members to learn to pay attention to their thoughts. Do this by having regular honest discussions, positive activities, and positive rituals, such as eating together, telling stories, reading spiritual books, singing songs, saying prayers, and practicing meditation, etc.
- In your family, avoid succumbing to using consumption as a means of activity and reward; rather, look for inspiration in seeking inner happiness through non-material pursuits and through living one another, and spending time together.
- Help each family member work through their spiritual concerns and needs; give each family member clear points of reference to work from in order to avoid confusion. This will include explaining your own beliefs, and being honest about the shortcomings of many modern day promises of happiness.
- Work with a spiritual role model. In addition to consistently focusing on your child’s positive actions and efforts as a means to building their inner resilience and confidence, it is vital to provide your child with a specific spiritual role model. Ultimately, having a spiritual role model provides your child with a sense of support and purpose to draw on when seeking to lead a positive life. Most people need the inspiration of a positive role model to walk the long path of inner happiness.
- The model is the consolidation of all positive qualities in one person. It shows us that it is possible to realize inner happiness and to lead a happy life. There are many different models for the path of inner happiness. Find those role models who inspire our children personally.
- Be sure that to include positive stories. The story books are full of good stories, and often it is the stories that help a child relate to a particular spiritual model. Tell these stories by heart, or read them aloud. Or devise stories yourself. Find stories in which the model wins over all the bad guys in the world, helps the weak and realizes enlightenment (a life in God, Goddess Yoga, find the great treasure), etc.
- Spiritually attuned people tend to be happier than nonspiritual persons. The greatest gift we can give our children is a spiritual upbringing. In doing so, we enable them to be the masters of their own life. We give them the knowledge of the path of inner happiness, and we empower them to a happy and positive life.
- A wise education is neither too harsh nor too liberal. It sets clear boundaries and yet, at the same time, gives the child sufficient space for self-determination. In the long term, the goal is to let each child find his or her own way, while you continue to assume the responsibility as a parent to ensure a positive upbringing.
- Each family will need to exercise its own form of spiritual practice. For example, find your own spiritual ledger, your own role models and your own rituals (daily exercise). Develop a form of spirituality in which you feel comfortable and that suits the family.
- In spiritual practice, it is important that we stay in touch with our inner truth. And the daily practice must not be an empty ritual; instead be creative and constantly change to keep it vital, such as finding new words, or trying out new exercises, so that the feeling remains genuine. Only true feelings cause spiritual growth. Only mantras (prayers, reading, meditation) with a real sense of participation lead us to self-realization.
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