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VII ii Areas of Discipline

1. What are the areas of discipline the parents should focus on?

Good Company : You must bear in mind that the years of youth are the most precious years in one's life and they should not be wasted or misspent. To let children watch the TV from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. is to make them forget all that they have learnt at school or college. In addition, they learn many evil things. If TV is used for teaching good things, it can serve a worthy purpose. But that is not the case. The younger generation is being ruined by undesirable films and TV programmes. Their minds are being poisoned. It is not a sign of parental love to let children be mined in this manner. Even parents should avoid going to cinemas. All the crimes and violence we witness today are largely the result of the evil influence of films on young minds.
Sathya Sai Baba,5 Feb 1984
When the boys come home for holidays, the parents must keep a watch over their activities, movements and companions. Some parents tend to pamper them at home on the ground that the boys might have lacked some things in the hostel. They are encouraged to see films or the TV. They are given unwholesome food. All this is undesirable. The children are mined by these indulgences. The parents should exercise restraints on themselves in the interest of the children.
Sathya Sai Baba, 5 Feb 1984
Watch the books they read: Parents should monitor the progress of their children from time to time, inculcate virtues in them and mould them into responsible citizens. They should not rest satisfied if their children get good marks. They should also observe what type of books they read at home. Some students read meaningless novels. But the parents do not bother to correct them. On the other hand, they say, “What is wrong in reading novels? It is enough if they are happy.” In this manner, they spoil their own children.
Sathya Sai Baba, 15 Jan 2004
Limit on Freedom: The child must be groomed well right from the beginning itself. Just as speed breakers control the speed of vehicles on the road to ensure safety, so too restrictions must be enforced upon children’s freedom for their safety. The child should be given freedom in areas related to right conduct and must be punished when it errs. When the parents give freedom to their children, they should watch carefully as to how the children behave. It is then that the child will tread the right path.
Sathya Sai Baba, 21 Nov 2001
Money: Giving the students excessive and uncontrolled freedom and more money than they really need are the primary reasons for this state of affairs. When the son requires a hundred rupees, if the parents give him a hundred and twenty rupees the surplus of twenty rupees will be used by him for a wrong purpose. On the other hand, when the son wants a hundred rupees, the father should give him only ninety rupees. Only then will he take to the right path. Such a restriction will at first appear to be harsh, but as time goes on, they will find that this very restriction is helpful to them later in their life to develop strength of character.
Sathya Sai Baba, Summer Showers 1974
When wealth grows, arrogance increases and morality declines.
Sathya Sai Baba, 6 May 1992
Behaviour: They do not care to observe how their children behave in their absence. There is no point in merely educating the children without correcting their behaviour.
Sathya Sai Baba, 15 Jan 2004
Today parents all over the country are worried about the conduct of their children and are not at all happy. They lament about the behaviour of their children, but do not realise that they are themselves to be blamed. If the parents had brought up the children on right lines, would they go astray? Pampering the children in various ways, they are allowed to go about like street dogs. How can such boys be reformed? It is impossible.
Sathya Sai Baba, 6 May 1992
Obedience: Some parents say that their boys do not listen to their words. This is a sign of weakness. Why should children refuse to obey their parents? If, from the beginning, the children are taught to respect parents and elders, this kind of attitude will not develop. A disobedient child should have no place in the home. It is only when parents show firmness in dealing with their children that they will develop along right lines. It is because parents and teachers fail to enforce discipline that students behave in the most irresponsible way and indulge in disorder and violence.
Sathya Sai Baba, 5 Feb 1984