Everyone teaches their children gratitude, honesty and respect. But many of us struggle to teach forgiveness. A lesson we all learn much later in life. Read this article for ideas on how to teach your child forgiveness.
Teach your child about forgiveness today and you’ve given them a gift for life! Mahatma Gandhi said, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong”.
Here is a short story on forgiveness for your children
Once a primary school teacher asked her students to carry a few tomatoes in a bag and name each one after a person they disliked. The next day, each child had promptly followed the instructions and had carried tomatoes. Some had two tomatoes, some had four and someone had ten! The teacher told them to carry the tomatoes wherever they go for seven days.
After few days the students started complaining about the unpleasant rotten smell. Some of them even complained about very heavy bags. She said, “our situation will be just like the rotten, heavy tomatoes when we carry grudges inside our heart. If this continue for a long time, it will contaminate our heart and unfortunately we will carry it wherever we go.”
I do agree that forgiving is never easy but trust me the benefits are enormous.
Forgiveness also has several health benefits like:
- It reduces blood pressure, relaxes our muscles and builds a stronger immune system
- It Drops stress hormones circulating in our body
- Kills back pain, stomach problems and headaches
- Reduces anger, bitterness, resentment, anxiety, depression and other negative emotions
Here are a few ways to teach your child about forgiveness
- To manage stress or anger try meditation, deep breathing and relaxation exercise.
- Teach them that true forgiveness isn’t conditional or fair but it’s important to focus on the future and look forward instead of looking backward.
- Help them empathise with the person who wronged them. And you can ask them how would they react if they faced a similar situation.
- Sometimes forgiving someone can’t be an abrupt task. It’s a gradual process that needs to be done in small stages over a period of time.
- Set a right example for them. Show your child how to forgive others. Share your personal experiences on how you were hurt by wrong doers and how you forgave them.
- Don’t repetitively remind them about their past misdeeds/mistakes
- Read and narrate few good stories on forgiveness. Ask them to reflect on the lessons they have learnt from the situation.
- It’s equally important to forgive ourselves for our mistakes
Try this at home
Materials required – pen/pencil, eraser and paper.
Ask your child to write the name of the person who wronged them with a pencil on a piece of paper. Then ask them to write name of the person who did something good for them with a pen. On completion, erase the one written with pencil. The logic is – when someone hurts you write it will a pencil so that we can erase it away but when someone does something good write with a pen so that no one can erase it. Here’s a beautiful lesson they can take back “Anger can’t drive out anger only forgiveness can do that”
About the Guest Author
Prof. Rupal Jain is a mother of two, who lives out through her interests in exercising, cooking, writing and blogging. She has completed her bachelors, masters and diplomas from Mumbai University, ICFAI and Wellingkar Institute. Rupal considers herself ‘forever student’ who is hungry for knowledge and challenges. She has over 12 published books from various esteemed publication houses and few of her E-books are live on Kindle and Paperback on Amazon. Rupal has over 7 years of teaching experience in degree and post graduate colleges and is currently associated with IIBMS.