Why children do not listen to the parents?

It is a very common problem among most of the parents that their children do not listen to them. There are many issues on which there are differences among the family members like: thinking process, living habits, eating habits, mode of entertainments, working environments, maintaining of relations, etc. There are many problems which have crept in because of the changed environment in the society and surrounding. The situation has become such that parents do not have any control over them. Parents may be religious, daily going to Gurdwara Sahib, reciting Path, but their children do not listen to them. The basic reason behind this is that though we claim to be very religious, but in fact we are not so. Most of us just perform the rituals only. Very rarely we introspect to find out, whether we are Sikhs or just the so called Sikhs.

ਸੋ ਪੜਿਆ ਸੋ ਪੰਡਿਤੁ ਬੀਨਾ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦਿ ਕਰੇ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ਅੰਦਰੁ ਖੋਜੈ ਤਤੁ ਲਹੈ ਪਾਏ ਮੋਖ ਦੁਆਰੁ (੬੫੦)

All the actions, religious formalities and rituals, which we perform, can be seen by others or us. These rituals are not acceptable in the court of Akal Purkh. Right from the morning to night, we mostly do religious formalities, which, come in the category of seeing only. Daily Path we do at such a speed, that we ourselves cannot listen. Even the present day language which we speak to our children is different from the language used in Guru Granth Sahib. There are some parents who take pride in speaking a language other than our mother tongue with their children. Hence, Shabad recited in the form of Kirtan cannot create any desired effect on our mind, unless someone simplifies that in the present language with proper meaning and examples. Most of the Ragi’s are just musicians only. In some of the cases they themselves do not know the meaning and purpose of that Shabad. The central idea of the Shabad is present in the sentence of “Rahoo” (ਰਹਾਉ). But very rarely Ragi’s takes that as the central subject matter of the Shabad. Guru HarRai Sahib disowned his own son for changing just one word in the Gurbani. But now-a-days it has become a fashion to add additional words during the recitation of the Shabad which is unacceptable.

ਸੂਹੀ ਮਹਲਾ ਕਰਮ ਧਰਮ ਪਾਖੰਡ ਜੋ ਦੀਸਹਿ ਤਿਨ ਜਮੁ ਜਾਗਾਤੀ ਲੂਟੈ ਨਿਰਬਾਣ ਕੀਰਤਨੁ ਗਾਵਹੁ ਕਰਤੇ ਕਾ ਨਿਮਖ ਸਿਮਰਤ ਜਿਤੁ ਛੂਟੈ ॥੧॥ ਸੰਤਹੁ ਸਾਗਰੁ ਪਾਰਿ ਉਤਰੀਐ ਜੇ ਕੋ ਬਚਨੁ ਕਮਾਵੈ ਸੰਤਨ ਕਾ ਸੋ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਤਰੀਐ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ (੭੪੭, ੭੪੮)

Gurbani says that one can be freed (ਮੁੱਕਤ) just in a fraction of a second, if one remembers Him in a selfless manner. You can see many people saying “Waheguru Waheguru”, for hours together. Many people have left Gurbani and started just saying “Waheguru, Waheguru”, only. How many of them have got internal freedom? They can themselves look in their inner core. We just do formalities for everything without understanding the Gurbani written in Guru Granth Sahib.

ਨਾਦੀ ਬੇਦੀ ਸਬਦੀ ਮੋਨੀ ਜਮ ਕੇ ਪਟੈ ਲਿਖਾਇਆ ॥੨॥ (੬੫੪੬੫੫)

Gurmat advises for True Bani written in Guru Granth Sahib. Any writing other than Guru Granth Sahib is not true Bani and hence is not acceptable.

ਆਵਹੁ ਸਿਖ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਕੇ ਪਿਆਰਿਹੋ ਗਾਵਹੁ ਸਚੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਗਾਵਹੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਕੇਰੀ ਬਾਣੀਆ ਸਿਰਿ ਬਾਣੀ ਜਿਨ ਕਉ ਨਦਰਿ ਕਰਮੁ ਹੋਵੈ ਹਿਰਦੈ ਤਿਨਾ ਸਮਾਣੀ ਪੀਵਹੁ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਸਦਾ ਰਹਹੁ ਹਰਿ ਰੰਗਿ ਜਪਿਹੁ ਸਾਰਿਗਪਾਣੀ ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਸਦਾ ਗਾਵਹੁ ਏਹ ਸਚੀ ਬਾਣੀ ॥੨੩॥ (੯੨੦)

Gurmat advises for True Bani, but we are happier with the adulterated and Kacchi Bani (ਕਚੀ ਬਾਣੀ). Guru Sahibs have warned against Kacchi Bani in many places. We expect everything, without listening and following the True Bani.

ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਬਿਨਾ ਹੋਰ ਕਚੀ ਹੈ ਬਾਣੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਕਚੀ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਬਾਝਹੁ ਹੋਰ ਕਚੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਕਹਦੇ ਕਚੇ ਸੁਣਦੇ ਕਚੇ ਕਚਂੀ ਆਖਿ ਵਖਾਣੀ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਿਤ ਕਰਹਿ ਰਸਨਾ ਕਹਿਆ ਕਛੂ ਜਾਣੀ ਚਿਤੁ ਜਿਨ ਕਾ ਹਿਰਿ ਲਇਆ ਮਾਇਆ ਬੋਲਨਿ ਪਏ ਰਵਾਣੀ ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਬਾਝਹੁ ਹੋਰ ਕਚੀ ਬਾਣੀ ॥੨੪॥ (੯੨੦)

All friends and relatives are invited, but Akhand Path is started with just a few persons only. In rare cases family members listen to the Path being recited. Mostly, they are busy with other arrangements. Some people come at the end of Path as a formality. Large number can be seen at the time of Langar.

None of the marriage ceremony is solemnized according to Sikh doctrines. Even Lawan’s (ਲਾਵਾਂ) are rarely listened by the boy and girl who are getting married. They go on performing ritually as they are instructed by relatives and the Granthi. Actually every Lawan is supposed to be taking us towards acceptance of our responsibility towards life and the Guru. If one has not listened, it cannot be considered an acceptance of the rationale behind the process, then how one can have harmony in life? These are few glaring examples to what extent we have degraded ourselves to project ourselves as religious by our ritualistic conducts.

ਸੂਹੀ ਮਹਲਾ ਹਰਿ ਪਹਿਲੜੀ ਲਾਵ ਪਰਵਿਰਤੀ ਕਰਮ ਦ੍ਰਿੜਾਇਆ ਬਲਿ ਰਾਮ ਜੀਉ ਬਾਣੀ ਬ੍ਰਹਮਾ ਵੇਦੁ ਧਰਮੁ ਦ੍ਰਿੜਹੁ ਪਾਪ ਤਜਾਇਆ ਬਲਿ ਰਾਮ ਜੀਉ ਧਰਮੁ ਦ੍ਰਿੜਹੁ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਵਹੁ ਸਿਮ੍ਰਿਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਦ੍ਰਿੜਾਇਆ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਪੂਰਾ ਆਰਾਧਹੁ ਸਭਿ ਕਿਲਵਿਖ ਪਾਪ ਗਵਾਇਆ ਸਹਜ ਅਨੰਦੁ ਹੋਆ ਵਡਭਾਗੀ ਮਨਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਮੀਠਾ ਲਾਇਆ ਜਨੁ ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਲਾਵ ਪਹਿਲੀ ਆਰੰਭੁ ਕਾਜੁ ਰਚਾਇਆ ॥੧॥ (੭੭੩)

The fundamental reason is that, we do not listen to the Guru. Then how the children will listen to us? We do not provide appropriate environment in the family. No teaching of Gurmat from the Gurdwaras. The social system is very bad. The T.V. teaches all wrong things in the form of songs, dance, serials, pictures, etc. If there is no proper environment around the children, then how can we expect good results? T.V. and social system are not in our hand but definitely; we can mould our family and Gurdwaras, if we ourselves start listening to Guru.

ਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਮੁਹੁ ਫੇਰੇ ਜੇ ਕੋਈ ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਕਹਿਆ ਚਿਤਿ ਧਰੈ ਕਰਿ ਆਚਾਰ ਬਹੁ ਸੰਪਉ ਸੰਚੈ ਜੋ ਕਿਛੁ ਕਰੈ ਸੁ ਨਰਕਿ ਪਰੈ ॥੪॥ (੧੩੩੪)

Gurbani is not meant for rituals. We have to read, study, understand, analyze and follow in our life.

ਗਾਵੀਐ ਸੁਣੀਐ ਮਨਿ ਰਖੀਐ ਭਾਉ ਦੁਖੁ ਪਰਹਰਿ ਸੁਖੁ ਘਰਿ ਲੈ ਜਾਇ ()

As far as hair (ਕੇਸ) is concerned, our children do not understand/listen to the logic of “STAMP OF GURU”. When we ourselves do not follow the Guru, then how can we expect or teach them to follow the Guru? The following Shabads give an idea, that Guru/Akal Purkh is our real Father and Mother. How much we listen to Him, can be analyzed by each of us.

ਸਲੋਕੁ ਪਵਣੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਪਾਣੀ ਪਿਤਾ ਮਾਤਾ ਧਰਤਿ ਮਹਤੁ ਦਿਵਸੁ ਰਾਤਿ ਦੁਇ ਦਾਈ ਦਾਇਆ ਖੇਲੈ ਸਗਲ ਜਗਤੁ ਚੰਗਿਆਈਆ ਬੁਰਿਆਈਆ ਵਾਚੈ ਧਰਮੁ ਹਦੂਰਿ ਕਰਮੀ ਆਪੋ ਆਪਣੀ ਕੇ ਨੇੜੈ ਕੇ ਦੂਰਿ ਜਿਨੀ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਇਆ ਗਏ ਮਸਕਤਿ ਘਾਲਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਤੇ ਮੁਖ ਉਜਲੇ ਕੇਤੀ ਛੁਟੀ ਨਾਲਿ ॥੧॥ (੮)

ਮਾਝ ਮਹਲਾ ਤੂੰ ਮੇਰਾ ਪਿਤਾ ਤੂੰ ਹੈ ਮੇਰਾ ਮਾਤਾ ਤੂੰ ਮੇਰਾ ਬੰਧਪੁ ਤੂੰ ਮੇਰਾ ਭ੍ਰਾਤਾ ਤੂੰ ਮੇਰਾ ਰਾਖਾ ਸਭਨੀ ਥਾਈ ਤਾ ਭਉ ਕੇਹਾ ਕਾੜਾ ਜੀਉ ॥੧॥ (੧੦੩) 

ਜੋ ਹਮਰੀ ਬਿਧਿ ਹੋਤੀ ਮੇਰੇ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਾ ਸਾ ਬਿਧਿ ਤੁਮ ਹਰਿ ਜਾਣਹੁ ਆਪੇ ਹਮ ਰੁਲਤੇ ਫਿਰਤੇ ਕੋਈ ਬਾਤ ਪੂਛਤਾ ਗੁਰ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਸੰਗਿ ਕੀਰੇ ਹਮ ਥਾਪੇ ਧੰਨੁ ਧੰਨੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਨਾਨਕ ਜਨ ਕੇਰਾ ਜਿਤੁ ਮਿਲਿਐ ਚੂਕੇ ਸਭਿ ਸੋਗ ਸੰਤਾਪੇ ॥੪॥੫॥੧੧॥੪੯॥ (੧੬੭)

ਸਲੋਕੁ ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਮਾਤਾ ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਪਿਤਾ ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਪਰਮੇਸੁਰਾ ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਸਖਾ ਅਗਿਆਨ ਭੰਜਨੁ ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਬੰਧਿਪ ਸਹੋਦਰਾ ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਦਾਤਾ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਉਪਦੇਸੈ ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਮੰਤੁ ਨਿਰੋਧਰਾ ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਸਾਂਤਿ ਸਤਿ ਬੁਧਿ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਪਾਰਸ ਪਰਸ ਪਰਾ ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਤੀਰਥੁ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਸਰੋਵਰੁ ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨ ਮਜਨੁ ਅਪਰੰਪਰਾ ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਕਰਤਾ ਸਭਿ ਪਾਪ ਹਰਤਾ ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਪਤਿਤ ਪਵਿਤ ਕਰਾ ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਆਦਿ ਜੁਗਾਦਿ ਜੁਗੁ ਜੁਗੁ ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਮੰਤੁ ਹਰਿ ਜਪਿ ਉਧਰਾ ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਸੰਗਤਿ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਮੇਲਿ ਕਰਿ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਹਮ ਮੂੜ ਪਾਪੀ ਜਿਤੁ ਲਗਿ ਤਰਾ ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਪਰਮੇਸਰੁ ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਨਾਨਕ ਹਰਿ ਨਮਸਕਰਾ ॥੧॥ (੨੫੦)

We have lost the chain for nurturing the qualities and character taught in Guru Granth Sahib. Earlier, the grandparents used to listen to the Guru. Parents used to listen to the grandparents and elder brothers and sisters. Children used to listen to the parents and elder brothers and sisters. Now-a-days, in most of the cases, we do not have the grandparents in our house, the reasons may be any. Brothers and sisters cannot stay together. Children are mostly guided by the T.V. and our surrounding public or media. In such an environment, we are very lucky if our children are having unshorn hair, listening to us and are not addicted to drugs.

Gurdwara Sahib can become a great source of education:

Children can learn many good habits in Gurdwara Sahib. Without putting much efforts children can learn, how to cooperate, how to prepare or distribute Langar, how to sit in the Darbar hall, listening to Gurbani, reciting the Gurbani, helping each other, etc.

No child wants to remain lazy:

Child tries to copy another child or one elder to him. If we develop the chain of good habits from elder to younger ones then it will automatically propagate to the smaller children also. Once child learns good habits in the Gurdwara Sahib, then he will automatically start listening in the home also. Child will start learning how to keep the things properly in the kitchen, bedroom, hall, etc. In this way Gurdwara Sahib and home will become complementary to their learning.

Need for the improvements in the Gurdwara Sahib programs:

If we notice the routine programs in most of the Gurdwara Sahibs. The programs are same for all the age groups right from the age of 5 to 10 years, 10 to 20 years, 20 to 40 years, 40 to 60 years, and above 60 years. Whereas the thinking level, requirements and understanding level are different for all these age groups which has to be understood and their needs to be catered accordingly. Hence, separate environment is required for teaching the children of various age groups in the Gurdwara Sahib. Special type of education oriented sessions will help them to understand the importance and specific features of Sikhism. Education oriented teaching will automatically generate respect for Guru Granth Sahib and the elders.

Short movies can be shown to them which can teach about the basic principles and guidelines about Sikhism. Special documentaries can be shown and discussed which impart knowledge, social uplift and also regarding the handling of delicate and dangerous items being used in our daily life. There should be a good library with books, pictorial literature and audio-visual aids which can be presented and discussed periodically.

Best thing will be to stop reading Gurbani as a ritual and start studying and understanding it from the core of our heart to make Guru Granth Sahib as a permanent companion of our day to day life.

ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਮਤਿ ਤੂੰ ਲੇਹਿ ਇਆਨੇ ਭਗਤਿ ਬਿਨਾ ਬਹੁ ਡੂਬੇ ਸਿਆਨੇ (੨੮੮, ੨੮੯)

“Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ke Fateh”

Author: Dr. Sarbjit Singh

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