As we are busy practicing Krishna Consciousness on oneself and even more busy focused on cultivating others to do the same, those with children or grandchildren may forget the special approaches required for the little ones. Today a friend of mine posted this tip on his Facebook which comes from a very valuable Facebook page “Raising Krsna’s Children” :
Children Chanting Japa
“I gave my sons bead bags when they were three years old, and when they turned six I encouraged them to chant one or two rounds a day. We always chanted together. I did not let them chant japa on they their own because they could develop bad habits, and chanting could become a chore or burden to them. As we chanted our japa, I would inspire them to chant better, explaining to the that Krsna would dance on their tongues if they chanted purely. This fascinated them and they tried to chant better.
Srila Prabhupada did not want children to be forced to chant japa. They should not see japa as a punishment but rather as a fun way to talk to Krsna and develop a personal relationship with Him. In other words when children misbehave, we should not punish them by making them chant an extra round. Similarly we should not threaten them with extra chanting:”If you don’t do this, you will have to chant an extra round.”
– Aruddha devi Dasi, Homeschooling Krsna’s children
While working with children, I suppose one needs to be extremely affectionate, patient, well-spoken to and more importantly lead by example. Forcing children to do something that makes you happy or comparing them to someone else is surely not the way to go. All kids have their own karma to go through and for some, it make take a little longer to find their mission within Prabhupad’s mission. All that parents can do is make the right arrangements for them to be cared for when they are surrounded by the dangers of material life.