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It's often difficult for parents and kids to get together for a family meal, let alone spend quality time together. Here is a section for more effective parenting, child-rearing tips that can help you feel more fulfilled as a parent by Vidya Shankar, a Child Rights Practitioner and a Montessori advocate for children. Founder of CASCADE Family Learning Services.

'Religious practices for Children'

8) What is the need and relevance of cultural and religious practices at home, for young children?

Culture is the way we live, and religion defines our identity and is ingrained in our daily lives. Be it the kolam that we draw in front of our house or the way we eat on a banana leaf, watching the lighting of a lamp or devoutly watering a Tulasi plant, we permeate our practices to the next generation that helps early recognition of spirituality within us. It also satiates their urge to imitate and learn with a purpose as a process of adaptation.

These moments shape the values and behavior of children by emphasizing the importance of family relationships where all the members work together towards a common good, role-modeling team work across ages. Culture as concrete experiences move them towards higher order thinking and triggers thoughts on their cosmic role in this world when they reach adolescence.

Culture also gives the child a glimpse into the thoughts of ancestors and their wisdom, with a mental walkthrough on the ways of ancient life and his/her own roots, in our classrooms that provide a buffet of interconnecting lessons across horizontal and vertical planes. Religion specifically acknowledges a higher power and lays the foundation to the individual’s spiritual search which is the ultimate goal of life.

Parenting queries? Ask the expert advisor Vidya Shankar.

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