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Newsletter - May 2024

Inclusive of Humanity

Gurbani is the light in this WORLD

ITS Counselling Important Dates

Wisdom of Guru Granth Sahib

Lets associate ourselves with the Almighty - Waheguru, so that we get blessed with his greatness. Each and every type of progress is the shadow of divine virtues, which we can exercise by making association with Waheguru ji.

From Psychology

Mentoring and Teaching children the quality of relationships

Often as parents, we want our children to meet our expectations of being responsive to the family and its cultural norms. There is an expectation that they will early on understand the value of pooling into family chores by cleaning, collecting dishes, or helping around the house. Often the task becomes harder by our experiences of our children and the circumstances of a life lived in constant movement where time to sit and talk is limited. As parents, our wish for them to learn good habits often turns into monetary exchange such as “if you clear the dishwasher every day you can have $5 at the end of the week”. It sounds promising as they start doing it. The $5 seems worth it. However, it soon becomes apparent that if we now ask them to load the dishwasher or vacuum the house it will mean more money. At this point, it becomes a war of attrition in which we end up arguing about money and how much is something worth doing. What appears to get lost is our thoughts about why it mattered. As parents we find ourselves in a bind; if we stop paying, they will stop doing the little things they were doing and if we pay it becomes something that we did not
intend it to be.

The above describes a transactional relationship and as adults, we are very much used to these and connected with these. Transactional here refers to a relationship that is based on a monetary benefit to both parties involved in the transaction. For instance, we go to work and do the necessary hours to get paid for the day, week, or month. We will certainly not be allowed to do less and it’s likely that we will only do what is necessary. This is what we are in a sense teaching our children when we start paying them for the little chores they do in the house. There is mutual benefit in terms of labor and cost.

The relationship that we had aspired to was that we wanted our children to appreciate the energy and thought that goes into making a family where each individual member is valued, respected, and treated with care and nurtured. This type of relationship would be built on mutuality of love and care for each other.

The above requires understanding and acknowledging the value of time and spirituality of the lived life. It requires an early start and mentoring from the time when children learn to speak and grasp objects in their hands and mind. Simple examples of these would be starting with storytelling while the child is still an infant. This leads to sharing attention to the same task and learning to be with
each other without the external world becoming a barrier. Learning to be part of a family of mutual independence involves grounding the experiences in life in such a way that it does not lead to transactional relationships of the adult world. This has implications for how what we do as parents influences our children. Parents should consider the following and starting young rather than wait
for the children to grow up,

  • Shared routines such as tidying up starting with joint play with toys.
  • Bath times and fun.
  • Telling and listening to stories (make them up or read from a book, family stories of the past are great).
  • Limiting their and your screen time to do the tasks that are not welcomed but essential such as putting things away, hanging clothes properly, etc. Let screen time be the favorite activity to be done once the boring stuff is finished.
  • Make time for outdoor activities. These teach children about risks as well as achieving goals. “We ran a whole mile. We had a game with so much fun.” These are not just with friends but with the family.
  • Weekly board games. Start with something simple and small like Ludo or Snakes and Ladders before going on to the big games.
  • Have Jigsaw and Puzzle sessions where, as a family, you sit down to make shapes, etc.
  • Introduce the talk where each member’s contribution is acknowledged and show appreciation. It is not just bringing the money that makes a family. Going to school, putting dishes away, vacuuming, ironing, playing, telling stories, and telling jokes, all contribute to the family.
  • Develop a family story that could be told and shared. What do we stand for? What are our values as a family? What will we tell about us? These are important and often don’t get mentioned in the talk, but children know about them even when the adults have forgotten. When these don’t get told we often hear the words hypocrite and disowned.
  • Become the model that you aspire for children so they can see the values being lived in the family and not just outside.

Community News & Donations:

Sikhi Engagement Camps Summer camps 2024 are being held in Mississauga, Cambridge, and Oakville and dates will be announced soon. Stay tuned for exact dates and locations.

Donations Thank you for all your generous donations to date. Please do not forget to email us your full name, postal address, and phone number for taxable receipts when making donations.

Our website has been updated for making direct donations using credit cards for one-time and monthly donations or pre-authorized donations as well.

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