Forgiveness, a tool that can solve even the biggest fights and wars. We very well know the importance to teach children to apologize, but unknowingly we do not teach them how and why to forgive.
What is Forgiveness?
Forgiveness means deciding to let the past be in past. It involves a will and ability to respond to the present happenings and not reacting to the situations through the lens of anger and resentment. It is a chance to forget the past and start again.
How Ganesha Teaches us Forgiveness?
Since the Ganesh Festival is going on, let’s have an example of Lord Ganesha’s story of Moon laughing at him and how he forgave him.
Ganesha was a food lover, especially sweets. He was once invited for lunch at Kubera’s house and he ate a lot of sweets. His tummy was hefty full. Hence, he decides to return home late at night so that no one sees him.
He starts his journey home at the night on his vehicle Mouse. It was always a full moon night at that time. Ganesha had tied a serpent around his bulging stomach to hide it. But it didn’t happen so. While going back, moon laughed at the Ganpati and angry Ganesha cursed Moon saying that no one would see the moon again ever. Moon realized his mistake and apologized to Ganesha for what he did. Ganesha immediately understood the genuineness of the Moon and forgave him.
Why Is Forgiveness important?
Why did Ganesha forgive Moon? Because he was ready to let it go and understood that the moon was genuine about his mistake.
We also face many situations in our lives where we are in a dilemma if we should or we should not forgive the person in front. When we don’t forgive someone for their mistakes, we keep on thinking about it and add into the bitterness. Forgiveness is more for ourselves than for someone else. It is considered as a symbol of love too. We forgive people whom we love the most. It helps us move on and strengthen the bond.
Why Your Child Must Learn to Forgive?
Now imagine there is a situation at your house. Your toddler-aged daughter took a toy from your son’s room and ran away. Your Son started reacting to it. What will be the right way to solve this?
You ask your daughter to give the toy back to him and say ‘Sorry’. Right, isn’t it? Now everything depends on if your son says ‘It’s Ok’ and forgive her. Or he still fights with her, yells at her saying ‘Why did you take it in the first place and ran away?’ And the fights start over.
The biggest task for parents in this situation is, how to teach the child to say ‘It’s Ok’ and forgive the person in front.
Children may learn to say sorry faster than saying It’s OK. It is essential for children to have forgiveness in their nature. A child who apologizes, understand his mistake and take its responsibility. Similarly, forgiving will help children grow and move on. They must know that forgiveness is a key to find happiness and inner peace. Apologizing and forgiving together can strengthen the bond of any relationship.
Responsible adults will be grown if children understand the significance of forgiveness at their early age. As a result, they have strong emotional health and develop empathy. It will not just make them work to achieve the highest potential but also promotes the ability to come over the obstacles that they face every day.
It may be easier to teach children to apologize, but it is even more difficult to teach them to forgive. Now, How do we do it?
Here are some easy-to-implement tips to teach forgiveness
- Teaching through siblings arguments– Just like mentioned in the above example, a Parent can play a significant role to tell son to say it’s ok instead of fighting ahead. This way both the kids will learn the importance of forgiveness. So, next time when something happens they know what to do and what not to do.
- Forgiving not Forgetting– Many times we think that forgiving someone means letting them forget what they did wrong. Forgiving adds the fear that the same mistake may be repeated, so we hesitate to do it and teach it to our children. But it is not true though. We can teach children to learn beyond the actions and explore the person. Understand the circumstances that forced the person to do that mistake. Explain it to them. Empathize with them and then tell them.
- Parents must forgive too– Parents should often use the term ‘You are forgiven’. This has a long-lasting impact on the child’s heart. Once we start doing it kids will imitate it too. Be a role model. Teach them that it’s not so hard to say It’s Ok to someone. Kids can make mistakes too and they would need forgiveness too in their lives. Hence, we understand the value of it only when we forgive someone.
- Teaching them how to accept- Parents must also inculcate the value of acceptance in them. It can simply be done by telling them that what happened has happened. It cannot be changed. They have been hurt, and nothing can change that feeling too. The only way out to fit the damage is by telling them to forgive and come over it.
We tend to underestimate the importance of teaching forgiveness to children. Learning to let go may take some time. But it is necessary to keep trying to understand what forgiveness is? and Why is it important? After all, anger is not a solution to any fight. Letting go off is.
Watch the video for Ganesha’s story of forgiveness and a parenting tip-