How do I change my child’s behavior?

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How do we change our children's behavior without punishing them?


Duration: 9 min


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5 min read

How do I change my child’s behavior?

The following is an unedited transcript of Sadhguru's video. For better readability, breaks and highlights have been added by the editors.

Questioner: How do we change our children’s behavior without punishing them?

Sadhguru: No, no, no, but whoever told you that you could change them with punishment? You don’t have enough experience with children.

So, first thing you need to understand about a child is that there’s nothing wrong with them. Maybe you are a little twisted out. There’s really nothing wrong with them – that’s how life is. You twisted yourself to fit into your society. He’s not twisted himself, he is just the way life should be. You don’t like it.

First thing you need to understand about a child is that there’s nothing wrong with them

I want you to understand – if you don’t like the miniature version of yourself, how should the world be bearing with the larger copy? It is just that you’re trying to educate them – not because they need to be corrected – education is not a correctional center. Education is simply nonsense that’s necessary to live in this world, okay? Yes!

If you just leave him in the forest, anyway he will learn how to live. But we’ve not left him in a forest, he has to live in a goddamn city, so we have to teach him the ways. If everybody lived in nature, there would be nothing much to teach, he would learn anyway, isn’t it? Now you want him to live in unnatural conditions that you have created as adults, so we have to do some tampering – let’s do it as gently, as minimally, as possible. We can’t help it – we have to fit them into school, we have to fit them into university, we have to fit them into corporate world. It’s a different world, I’m telling you. It’s not this world – another world.

So, because we have to fit them into another world, not this world, there’s a problem. They belong to this world. You are an imported case, or at least you act like one – so, all this trouble. If you understand that there is so much to learn for you from a child, rather than the child learning from you. What the hell can you teach a child, tell me, about life? You can teach them some textbook physics, some textbook biology, some textbook chemistry. You don’t have any firsthand experience of the physical forces in the existence, only some nonsense that you read in a book. It’s necessary to pass an examination, it’s necessary to get a goddamn job, but you’re not putting him through correctional – this should be understood.

“How do I correct him?” Who said he’s wrong? So, if you think you must correct him, somewhere you believe that Creator has made a mistake, and you want to fix it. This is a horrific level of ego. Unfortunately, too many teachers on the planet suffer from this. They think Creator has made a mistake, and they’re going to fix it. You are not fixing anything, you are trying to pervert them. Do you understand? They are normal – you’re trying to pervert them. You better understand this.

They’re quite normal. They’re happy, they’re fine, they’re jumping around, joyful. You are trying to pervert them – “how to be number one.” Hmm? What’s being number one? Being number one means you’re sick in your head, that’s what it means being number one. Because if you want to be number one, the rest of the world should be at your feet, isn’t it? Yes, or no? Because there’s only damn number one. If you want to be number one, everybody else has to be beneath you. This is not success – this is sickness. You’re trying to teach your child this kind of sickness. “Be number one. Everybody should be beneath you.”

We are trying to adjust him [child] to the society we have created, which we ourselves are not happy with

So, don’t believe that you have to correct the child. There’s nothing to correct the child. Child is fine, it is just that he still doesn’t know how to fit into your society. He is wild, as life should be. But the problem is, he has to live in a society. A wild human being, they lock him up somewhere. You don’t want that to happen to him. So, we are trying to adjust him to the society we have created, which we ourselves are not happy with. Are you 100% happy with the society in which you are living? Are you? No. But you’re trying to fit your children into it, perfect cogs who’ll fit and serve the society.

So, at least you understand, this is not some kind of a perfect game. You know how to fix them, you know how to take them – you don’t know anything! You’re just teaching a few survival tricks for them. So please go in front of your children and admit to them that “Even I don’t know how to be.” Really. Let’s together try do something, A, B, C… few get to Z – fine, otherwise, A, B, C, D is good. According to their intelligence, if you exercise their intelligence to think, and look, and do things, they will do something. They may not do it like you, and it will be great if they don’t do it like you – the world will change. Isn’t it? If the new children don’t do it like you, that means the world will change – that’s wonderful!

So, don’t become a missionary teacher, please. Nothing to correct your children. Teachers definitely need some correction, for sure. Children need just inspiration, not correction. Children just need inspiration, they don’t need any correction. Teachers for sure need correction. Mind you, I’m saying all this, though we are running schools. And we have a whole circus of problems with the children, and it’s okay. The problem is not because they’re a problem, the problem is because we are trying to fit them into something reasonably well, so that we don’t have to create a separate world for them. whatever the kind of world we have, they have to fit into it. So, we are making that effort, otherwise, there is nothing wrong with them.


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