These stressful Covid-19 times have once again brought us back to our roots wherein we are trying to look for answers to the varied questions in our holy textbooks. The phenomenal viewership of Ramayana and Mahabharata on Delhi Doordarshan is a testimony to this.
The importance and knowledge of mythology, which had been declining with each passing year, is once again showing signs of revival. But the million-dollar question is how to teach our kids, the global citizens in truest sense, these nuggets from our Vedas and Upanishads and how to make following our culture attractive to them? How to explain the science and logic behind our various traditions so that they not only understand but actually follow it.
Here are some pointers which you must keep in mind:
Don’t force it. Explain it (as traditions should be carried forward)
Don’t just teach them because you were forced to do so. Times have changed drastically since then and now. Do it to provide knowledge among them about our culture. We live in a society surrounded by so many traditions and customs. Instead of saying “do this as it has been the tradition, explain the reason and the stories behind customs”. The festivals we celebrate and their very existence are rooted to mythology. So they should know the 5Ws and 1H. We do want our traditions to be carried forward. We can’t expect that to happen without explaining the significance and asking them to carry on with the customs as it is supposed to be done.
To teach them about good-bad and right-wrong moral values
Our mythology has innumerable instances that can be shared with our children to instill the power of decision-making and make them understand the concept of right and wrong or good and bad. Books will help instill moral values in them. It will teach them valuable life lessons and various emotions — relationships, expectations, love, deceit, defeat, victory, etc.
To increase creativity and boost their development
Kids are inquisitive by nature and want to know as much as possible. Listening to mythology can bring out the creative instinct which is deeply hidden. It will develop their spiritual aspect. Curiosity leads to building up of masterpieces, even developments or innovations. Who knows they might end up drawing or even start writing about the characters, even come up with a whole new interpretation or a new way of seeing things that we did not.
It is the correct time
It is the right time to try to persuade them to read it. Once they grow up, it is hard to try and convince to do something according to our wishes. What they read and absorb now will remain with them forever.
Family bonding time
It will help you connect with the kid and be their friend. They always love stories. Readout to them with expressions and variations in tonality and see the stories work their magic. This will help in building deeper connections with culture and history at a larger level.
If normal books don’t seem attractive, there are tonnes of picture books available to make the reading process interesting. So make use of the quarantine time and introduce them to our mythology in a story telling way.