Parenting & child development: Insights from ancient Indian texts
Dr. Govindaraja Setty AG
Ancient Indian texts have long been considered a good source for diverse topics including yoga, philosophy, spirituality, values, management, and ethics. However, ‘Parenting’ seems to have not been explored from the Indian traditional texts despite being loaded with plentiful messages for parents, educationists, and policy makers. This paper aims to fill this vacuity in literature by investigating ancient Indian texts. Through a review of the ancient Indian texts this paper establishes the close relationship between parenting and child development. Indian seers of yore prescribed a code of living through a set of sixteen sacramental rites and we relate this concept to effective parenting.
Based on our understanding of the available literature, we propose that there exists a close relationship between the code of living, parenting practices, and child behavior. We further elaborate the practices enumerated in the Indian traditional texts that deal with development of a child in the formative stages as well as during youth. Further, implications for parenting in terms of parental-duties, parenting-methods, and values are discussed in the light of ancient Indian wisdom. Parents in the contemporary world would get valuable inputs from the Indian wisdom discussed in the paper.