Making time for your children

Devotee: I have a question about guilt. You said we should not feel guilty. Sometimes I talk with my mother and I feel that she feels very guilty about me, and I don’t know what to say or do.

Guru: I can understand if parents feel guilty that they have not given their children all the things they want, and they feel guilty that they have not done their best to change the attitude and lifestyle of their children.

Unfortunately, it’s sometimes a bit too late to feel guilty. That is why I remind all the members of the community that if you start a family and you have little children then spend time with them and give them love. Love is not just ‘throwing’ every item that you can imagine at the child. No, spend time interacting with your children, that is invaluable.

But I can also see how difficult it is if the father has gone to work and is a professional man; you have to spend a lot of time working and you haven’t got the time. But one member of the family should spend a lot of time with the children. Between the ages of five and fourteen, you have the opportunity to build a special relationship with your children.

If you miss that time then you will find it more and more difficult to have an interaction with your children because the children become independent of you, and then they don’t want to know what you’re saying.  

I know how difficult it is now in modern times because children go to school and they have a whole different relationship with the family. Children are brought up in so many different ways and that in itself is a big problem in our communities and societies today.

So you have to spend more time if you want to influence your children. If you don’t do that, you will have many problems as you go along. It’s very important.

I would also say that even though children may be grown up, they must have time for their parents.

I remember when my grandparents were there. I learnt an awful lot from my grandmother and my grandparents and their wealth of knowledge. My grandmother was over ninety years old, and it was so lovely to have that interaction between ourselves and my grandmother and grandfather.

Even after the children have got married and started a new life, grandparents have a very special role that parents don’t play. You can spoil your grandchildren and this is special spoiling, you can do so much for your grandchildren that parents don’t normally do.

I know what a joy it was to have my grandparents, so grandmothers, there you are, you can look forward to spoiling your grandchildren!

Devotee: But there is nothing I can do or say?

Guru: No sadly not. What you can show your mother is that you are very happy. If you are unhappy it reflects on your parents. Immediately they will say, “What’s gone wrong? Why have I gone wrong? Why are my children unhappy? Why are they in this position? What can I do to help?”

They can do something to help, and that is not to worry about what has gone on in the past but to change what is in the present, very important, o.k?

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