Bringing up children

Bringing up children as reliable and responsible citizens laced with integrity, compassion and common sense can be a challenging task.

A lot of parents feel very traumatised when they find that their children have grown up to be depraved. They feel this all the more when their best efforts, time and money have been invested to shape the lives of their wards in the best possible manner.

More often than not, parents do not realise that they have been instrumental in influencing their child’s core behaviour.

In the Mahabharata, Dhritarashtra longed to be the king of Hastinapura.

His lack of eyesight, proved to be his impediment on the way to the throne. The untimely exile of his brother made him the sovereign in charge. He planned to utilise this interim period by laying a claim to the throne by fathering the crown prince of Hastinapura.

Accordingly, his wife Gandhari was pregnant with his heir. Unfortunately for him, his brother Pandu became the father of Yudhishtira. The next in line to the throne was born weeks before the son of Dhritarashtra was due to be born.

Dhritarashtra was very upset with his fate and his wife. Gandhari was also none too happy. Her zeal to produce the heir to the throne was coupled with the frenzied pressure that her husband decanted on her.

As a result she forced herself to deliver a premature nondescript foetus. This unexpected debacle shattered the royal man and his wife. Luckily, the Vyasa maharishi intervened. He fragmented the foetus into a hundred parts and stored them in jars of some chemical solutions and clarified butter in the hope that at least one or some of them would metamorphose into a normal healthy baby.

Vyasa’s experiment proved to be a success and the royal couple became the proud parents of a hundred sons. The Kauravas grew up to be jealous, evil and cruel. The fact that they were nurtured by exceptional elders like Bhishma and Vidura and educated by the best of teachers like Dronacharya and Kripacharya did not make a marked difference in their character.

The positive influence of magnificent mentors proved to be futile because the proportion of the negative influence they received right from the time they were in the womb had a stronger sway over them.

Besides, they were indirectly supported in all their mean and belittling activities by their frustrated and ambitious father. It is no wonder that they turned out to be rotten eggs.
Parents play a definite role in the character and personalities of their wards, hence it is imperative for them to watch their steps lest their children falter.

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