In today's times, we often question ourselves whether we are passing on the right values to the generation next, when we say some appalling acts of cruelty or misbehaviour. As a father, I feel it is important to pass the right messages when we interact with our child or even passively while doing the daily chores.
1. There is no gender associated with daily activities:
I take care of the morning chores involving my two and half year-old daughter including brushing her teeth, helping her with bath, getting her ready for school. I do these simply because I love doing these for my daughter and not present myself as a 'hands-on dad' or a supportive husband. The underlined objective is also to tell my daughter that there is nothing like a man's job or a woman's job in this world. She should not grow up with a preconceived notion that it is only her responsibility to take care of all household chores. She should grow up as a confident lady ready to take on the world.
2. Be humble in your interactions and be grounded always:
We have taught our daughter to address the maid and driver as 'Mausi' or 'Uncle' instead of 'Bai' or 'Driver' and to greet the watchmen every time she sees them. Or, even dropping her used plates at the sink, even if the maid is around. Not only she is leaning to respect them irrespective of their social stature, it also teaches her gratitude for those who help us every day, and the basic sense of humility. These are the qualities essential for working in teams in her later life.
3. Put things back in place:
Being structured, organized and neat is extremely important not only in our personal lives, but also our professional lives. Let's say, you are plugging in your laptop to make a presentation. As soon as the screen comes alive, your desktop with files cluttered all over says Hello, vis-à-vis someone with a neat folder structure takes a second to open the correct file. No prizes for guessing who steals the show! I think, the training for this starts early on in a child's life when she sees that parents keep things in the house in an organized manner, put things back in place immediately after use, sort regularly and the room is not messed up with things scattered all around. A simple yet powerful message!
4. Swachh Bharat:
Many a times, we tend to throw pieces of paper or items we don't need on the floor for the maid to pick it up while cleaning the floor. The child learns that it is fine to litter and there is someone to clean it anyway. Same for the road. A garbage bin is never too difficult to reach and even if it is, we could carry them along until we reach one. Isn't it? The child also learns that cleanliness is non-negotiable!
Nothing new, but practising them consciously can be great lessons for children by themselves!
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