Name of Activity: The Art of Joyful Parenting
Date and Venue of Event:
- 19 October: Dr. Kalmadi Shamarao High School, Primary Section, Ketkar Road,
Kind of Activity: Indoor activity
Resource Person: Vijayam Kartha
Objective of Session:
- To increase understanding on the 2 character strengths – Gratitude & Mindfulness
- Presentation by the resource persons
- Interactions with participants
No of Participants 29
The reflection circle, introducing the resource person, note of thanks and feedback circles were all conducted by the parents.
1. Reflection Circle
The MPP session in September 2019 had introduced parents to the concept of ‘community service’ and parents had chosen a community service activity they would like to take up, from a group of 6 broad sets of activiities.
Some parents had started volunteering for Read – a – Story initiative by Amod Joshi. A few of these parents shared their experience.
“The student from Talasari I am interacting with is in standard 6 but is still not able to read. I realized that there are so many children who do not have even the basic things that our children have.”
Presentations by the resource persons
The presentation, introduced parents to importance of mindfulness and gratitude and related practices.
What worries you & are there any solutions to your worries?
The session started with a discussion on three simple questions:
What worries you about your child?
The following were the concerns shared by parents: Will my child be able to fit into today’s environment and survive? Will my child uphold the right values? Will I be able to help my child attain his full potential? What kind of company will my child get? Will my child be the same when she grows up? Will my child get the right career?
Are you worried about the world that we live in?
Parents expressed concerns over the deteriorating value system, increasing crime, increased exploitation of resources and the consequent threat of their depletion, etc.
Are there any solutions for our concerns?
‘Attitude decides Altitude’
The solutions lie in making Mindfulness and Gratitude a way of life for our children. Mindfulness and Gratitude are character strengths. Helping our children to develop the right attitude will help them to cope up with whatever life has in store for them. Unfortunately, we stress so much on academics and so little on character strengths and pro-social skills.
Mindfulness and Mindfulness practices
The next part introduced parents to the concept of Mindfulness and practices that help in developing this character strength:
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a practice of purposefully paying attention to the present moment non judgmentally.
Meditation & Mindfulness are mirror like
‘Walking meditation’ is when we walk mindfully. There is also ‘Eating meditation’. That is when we eat mindfully and are not distracted by TV and mobile phones.
Benefits of Mindfulness for children
Increases attention, improves performance, reduces aggression and behavioral problems and promotes compassion and empathy.
Types of Meditation
The participants were introduced to the different types of meditation such as: Anapana meditation, loving kindness meditation, raisin meditation, mindful walking meditation and vipassana meditation.
Importance of Meditation:
Many of our diseases are because of shallow breathing.
Mediation changes the structure of the brain and expression of our genes for the better. It fosters positive experience & intentions and makes us better as individuals.
Gratitude and Practices of Gratitude
According to Cicero, the Roman Philosopher, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others”, as it encourages the development of virtues such as patience, humility, and wisdom.
Benefits of Gratitude
Every time someone remembers you with love is a blessing
The more you say thank you, the more the universe offers you
- The focus shifts from ‘me’ to ‘we’
- Resilience increases
- People who practice gratitude are more satisfied with life than their peers
Gratitude practices shared by parents
“I taught my children to see the suffering of others and count our own blessings.”
“We teach our children that birthdays are for giving. When we have a birthday party, we keep a gift box and ask our guests to put the birthday gifts in the box and we then give away the gifts to needy children.”
“Every Diwali, my father used to stand on the road and distribute ‘Faral’ to milkmen, street cleaners, postmen and others who served the society. I did not understand what he was doing, then. But now, after associating with MPP, I realise the importance of his act.”
“There is an aged vegetable vendor near my house. Once I asked him, “where do you have tea?” Realising that there is no place where he can go to have even tea, I started taking tea for him when I went to drop my kids. In return, he started delivering the best vegetables for me at my doorstep. My children call him ‘Ajoba’ – grandfather.”
Following this, parents were introduced to gratitude practices. Some examples:
- Keeping a gratitude journal
- Counting our blessings
- Blessing people
- Having a daily conversation with children on gratitude
Mindfulness & Gratitude Challenge
Parents were asked to take the challenge and practice mindfulness and gratitude till the MPP camp on 8th December and share their experiences during the camp.