Sunday, September 5, 2010

Right speech and children

Raising children in a buddhistic way is a real inspiration, as I've found out.
Children have the inborn tendency to do good and when they're a bit older they want to please others.

Teaching them the right speech isn't a problem until they're going to school.

Many parents remember the first time their child came home with words they certainly never learned at home.
One of my boys didn't even understand what he was saying, but he liked the sound of some words I don't want to repeat here. When I kindly told him what he was saying he got a head so red...

Right speech means not saying awful words, but it also means not saying anything that hurts other people, refrain from idle chatter, no lies.

For a child at school that sure is a challenge, because it should withhold spontaneous outbreaks of using bad words, calling names and the like.

It's a pity that in the western world buddhist schools are hardly or not available.
Because a buddhist child is made aware that words can bring peace, help people grow.
To me it has always been a very positive approach to verbal behaviour, and it has made me aware that verbal behaviour should be trained as well as other forms of behaviour. This is often forgotten in the western world, where freedom of speech is for some people an excuse for misconduct at the verbal level, and calling names back to someone who has been unkind is seen as normal behaviour.

The support of teachers to display the right conduct in school and at the playground makes a huge difference.
When bullying is not tolerated at all, children who exercise the right speech will get the respect they deserve because other children will find the confidence and trust of never being called names or talked about.
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