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What Can We Do to Stop the Violence


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a person pulling gun trigger as threat to stop violence

How can we stop the violence? The violence that is rampant in homes, on women, against seniors, in the society, and in the schools.

You know this post is triggered by the recent shooting incident. It was a big tragedy, but several such small incidents keep happening not only in America but all around the world.

What can we parents and responsible citizens do to root out violence from our lives and the society?

No, it’s not about just making a law on the guns or abolishing their use. If not the guns, it can be anything else used as a medium to show violence.

To completely stop the violence you need to get to the root from where mostly the problem rises – the person and the family. And who’s the one responsible to an extent?

Yes, the answer to the question should be a no-brainer.

We need to be better parents and more humane individuals to stop the violence from breeding in the minds of our children, teenagers, and even adults.

Though parents can’t be totally held responsible in all the cases of violence, but it makes a difference if we have closely bonded loving families.

How can Better Parenting Stop the Violence

Believe it or not, the making of the choice of violence depends on the kind of parenting and family in the upbringing of the person.

Children who face violence, sexual abuse, and emotional hurt at home are likely to become violent, either then or later when they are adults.

Situation gets worse if their emotional channels are blocked and they cannot express their feelings.

On the other hand, if we raise our children with love and use the most suited and effective parenting style, there are more chances that our children will abstain from violence and have a good mental health.

When you’re loved then you’re happy and at peace. There is then no place for extreme violent thoughts and heightened anxiety, except under rare circumstances.

Some kind of movies, media, video games, and bad company definitely are factors that directly or indirectly breed violence and disturb the mental health of a child.

But these factors have their negative impact only if the child does not have self-respect, a good self-esteem, and love for the family.

A family with irresponsible parents and which is without love often creates anxiety and frustrations in the child’s mind.

The disturbed mental state of a child lacks self-control and the ability to make the right decisions, which makes it difficult to stop the violence getting into his or her head and mind.

That is why every bizarre incident of violence raises a finger on the parent and their parenting. Maybe not all parents are at fault, but many are.

In fact, most parents take parenting for granted, ignore and neglect its importance. Inconspicuously, parents make families the breeding grounds of violence.

It is anger that develops into violence. We need to deal with anger to stop the violence in children, who tend to carry the same emotions and intent when they become adults.

But we need to understand that if a child is angry, then it’s not without a reason. Anger is only a symptom.

This is where parents and parenting plays a crucial role.

What Should the Parents Do

Every parent needs to be responsible enough to raise their children with love and instill the right values in spite of how adverse their own childhood had been.

Every parent should:

  • Understand their children
  • Create a good family atmosphere
  • Prioritize their family
  • Spill out all the love for children

Since I’ve written about all these points in many of my earlier posts, I’ll use some excerpts to clear my point of view.

Firstly, parents need to know their children better.

I want the parents to read my post Why Do Children Get Angry? They should especially know the warning signs that trigger children to get angry.

Here’s an excerpt from the post:

When children get angry, it could be due to problems with friends, school environment, inability to study, and coping with unreasonable expectations or unrealistic demands… When children get angry, it is a sign that they feel some pain deep within themselves, because anger is generally a response to pain…

And what do these kids do when angry?

They start fighting and arguing with classmates or even parents, though at other times they are courteous and absolutely normal…Some kids take drastic steps of destroying things or acting indifferently at school or at home. When you try finding out the reason, it’s because of some problems they are facing at home.

But are there more reasons why they get angry in the first place?

Children also get angry when they are lonely, fearful of parents or teachers, not respected, unloved, lied to, if they don’t understand why a privilege is revoked, or if they’re ignored… One main reason children get angry is because there is lack of effective communication. Children get frustrated because they lack the ability to talk freely about their feelings to their friends, or family.

Sometimes things go out of hand and the parents need to be very understanding.

Children who have the above risk factors and show intense anger, repeated outbursts, remain frustrated, are extremely irritable and impulsive should be evaluated for a disorder and need treatment.

Read more here.

It is sometimes not easy for parents to understand and deal with teenagers. Parents of teenagers need to read my post Understanding Teenagers.

Here’s an excerpt from the post:

Problems like mood swings, revolt, snotty attitudes, cluelessness and a wide range of emotions are part of the growing experience. The expectations of parent’s and the teenager’s inability to live up to them are the major sources of disagreement.

This is a not to be missed post for all parents – Is Parenting Troubled Teenagers a Difficult Task? Look out for the warning signs of troubled teenagers. Some of them are:

  • Has mood swings that go to extreme levels.
  • Avoids positive friendship and/or a sudden change in peers.
  • Shows intense sadness and/or impulsive temper.
  • Becomes secretive.
  • Loses interest in activities.
  • Tries purposely not to fit in with peers.
  • Begins to experiment with drugs and alcohol.
  • Has a more defiant and rude attitude.

Secondly, parents need to create a favorable atmosphere at home that would stop the violence entering in the first place.

Also mentioned in the post are the ways to deal with troubled teenagers, and here’s an excerpt:

Troubled teens need a place where they can discuss their problems, talk out their feelings, and confide in their parents. And a warm home with loving parents is just that kind of place, when everyone can have a family time together.

As a parent you need to give your time, love, care, concern, attention and guidance to you children even if they’ve grown up to be teenagers.

You need to be a better parent. Here’s an excerpt from my post How Can I be a Better Parent?

Better parenting is all about striving to be become responsible parents and make improvements with the way you deal with your children. It’s not about being perfect, rather it’s about being a real parent, in the true sense….

For better parenting, try spending more quality time with your kids, spreading more joy, showing more patience, having fewer arguments in the house, and learn to appreciate, love, and understand your kids.

Read more ways to be a better parent here.

Thirdly, you need to give importance and time to your family.

To have a loving family and children, as a parent you need to give priority to your family and children.

Family is no doubt important and you need to gift the best you got. Here’s an excerpt from my post Is Your Family Important to You?

The only gift you can give your family is the gift of your time, which holds more meaning to them than any kind of materialistic gifts… You need to devote time for your family, which you can carve out from your busy schedule either on a daily basis or over the weekends.

You do not need to know rocket science to have a healthy family. Here’s an excerpt from my post Why Family Time is Important?

According to studies, healthy families make family time for talking and listening, accepting differences, showing affection and encouragement, sharing chores and decision-making, keeping in touch, and making time for each other.

Giving time to your family acts as a magic potion that does miracles. It not only helps you stop the violence from taking hold in their lives but develops them into responsible citizens.

By spending family time together, a very special relationship of trust and intimacy that builds a healthy family develops, especially when children have a real say in what happens and where everyone feels their views are heard.

Children grow up and are gone before you realize it, so don’t waste the time you have now, and spend it with your family. Remember, that strong families are able to withstand setbacks and crisis with a positive attitude, shared values, and beliefs that help them cope with challenges.

Read more here.

Fourthly, unconditionally love your children.

As a plant needs water to grow and bring out pretty flowers, a family needs love to up bring beautiful children.

Here’s an excerpt again from my post Is Your Family Important to You?

A family is your safe den, your recharge point, your caring and motivational center, and your identity… Love in the family gives you the emotional support that helps overcome many other hurdles in life, and helps your grow as a person… Your family becomes your strength in tough times, or when you face family traumas, and family stress. It takes care of you and supports you… A strong and loving family gives you a sense of security, satisfaction, peace, and happiness. It gives a feeling of being cared and loved.

Love heals all and love can stop the violence from taking root in the family.

Expressing love to your children is so necessary and important. Love and emotions deeply impact a child’s psyche and development, including his or her thinking and behavior, and so the personality.

Children grow intellectually or emotionally in a loving family; as mentioned in this news report that describes the research proving it.

If you do not express love in the family, chances are that the children will suffer from emotional problems. The lack of love might damage their emotional and intellectual development, or delay their emotional maturity.

Read more here.

As parents, we need to practice and teach love. It is best explained in my post Are you a Love Teacher and here’s an excerpt:

Parents are the first teachers of their children… It is essential for parents to teach love to them. Children are the carriers of this flame of love, which they’ll pass on to the generations ahead… It is the duty and responsibility of parents to make sure that their children are full of love and learn to love… Parents need to make them understand the real meaning of love and help them evolve into true human beings.

Love is a wonderful energy that makes us feel good. It helps to stop the violence from taking root with its positive force and replaces violence with peace.

Read the post here to know more tips on how to be a love teacher as a parent.

But what can we expect if the parents themselves are not fully mature, not conscious of their responsibilities, and indulge in acts that teach violence and not love.

If parents themselves have no values, are binge drinkers, use abusive language and violence at home, and have weird habits and hobbies like collecting firearms… what can we expect?

Disturbed homes and divorced families sometimes add to the problem. Parents have little time or concern for their children, leave alone love.

Some parents tend to become selfish and get busy in their personal lives and affairs leaving the children on their own.

These parents need to wake up and be responsible.

As parents they need to teach their children morality, raise them with love, discipline, and integrity, and instill character and values.

It’s all that is needed to stop the violence in children, teenagers, adolescents, and even adults.

Over to you –

Do you think parents and parenting have to do anything with violence in children? Can better parenting be a solution to stop the violence? What more can we as parents do? Share in the comments below.

 

Photo Credit: FreePhotoDigital


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Avatar of Harleena Singh

About Harleena Singh

Harleena Singh is a positive thinker and a freelance writer. She loves to write inspiring and thought provoking posts on self-improvement, family, relationships, health, and other aspects of life. She's not another personal development guru, but just an average person with great life experiences. She's also a blogger, who loves to share her blogging knowledge and experiences. Network with her on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+..

44 Comments

  1. Mayura

    December 19, 2012 at 1:06 am

    Hi Harleena,

    Now I see the re-usability here. ;) Very nice. Mmm… When I read I recalled Carolyn’s post about dealing with anger of teenagers too.

    That’s a broad topic nowadays Harleena. I think effective parenting can do a lot. :) The change in mind and setting positive picture. The reason I don’t say parents but parenting, it’s ’cause I have one story.

    There were 3 little kids living in a nearby house, but parents were quite not peaceful there. They didn’t concentrate much about ‘em too. Kids used to go out when they needed and come back. Now they can be exposed to anything. But there were a old grandmother (Not theirs) who was living with her husband and as I heard from my friends, she took care of them after some time. She used to teach and help with their studies, so kids loved her too. But parents were not aware. The parents usually used abusive words, but I met 2 of kids lately. They were so nice and not like their parents. I think the right guidance with love can change anything. :)

    So I think it could be anyone – Parents, teachers, relatives or someone not related. :) The other thing I mostly see is friend groups Harleena. There are such good parents but children are not like that. But parents can be alert by inviting his/her friends home and they can get to know about who are the friends he/she hanging out with too.

    How about the Internet? You know what I mean, right? Anonymous friends on social networks, planning events with ‘em without letting parents know, secret relationships and gangs, verbal abuse and everything can lead to that too. Sometimes they call heroes if someone can hack a website, create a virus and kill a animal or person and so. They do it, take a snap and share. Get compliments and violence become a right thing to do. Even my parents don’t know what I’m doing on the Internet but I feel the responsibility and they trust me. I think if a child is not exposed to such stuff until the teenage is over or first ages of twenties, they can be safe. But not easy in 2012 with globally connected society.

    However I think parents need to be in alert about what children do without interfering in their lives. In some cases parents get to know about the child after reading investigation report. That’s sad. Hope more parents read and think more about their children dear. :) I can bet that almost all the people comment here are aware of that, as I read comments of ‘em mostly.

    Wishing the little angels and people who got murdered, to rest in peace. :)

    Have a GREAT week Harleena. :)

    Cheers…

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 19, 2012 at 7:37 am

      I agree with most of the things you said, Mayura. A thing that you so rightly mention which I want to highlight is that there are two aspects involved – parents and parenting. They can be related or unrelated, meaning that it’s not necessary that parents as good persons have good parenting skills. Like you mentioned, it’s the right parenting that matters the most. A football coach might not have been a champion player himself, but he knows how to bring up and make a champion. Agree?

      This is a broad topic like a big tree with many branches, but there’s only one root. There might be some aerial roots that can account for bad company, movies, and video games and so on, but the major root lies in the family. The wrong family atmosphere, irresponsible parents, and incorrect parenting style can make lunatics out of normal children.

      Effective parenting is an important key and it cannot be underestimated. As in your example, what could not be achieved by the parents was done by an old lady, even though she was unrelated. Children need some responsible guardian to show them the right way – it’s difficult for them to do so on their own because in today’s world it’s easy to get lost.

      I cannot take away the credit from the individual’s high standards of self-development that remains in some way unrelated to both the parents and parenting – there are rare cases where children in spite of growing up with bad parents and in bad parenting still manage to evolve like lotus in a dirty pond. They use their will, determination, and their virtues that they were born with (that’s Karma and I do not want to elaborate on that as it would change the direction of the discussion and make it more controversial).

      You said it, Mayura – the right guidance with love can change anything. And, it’s so true. Everybody’s responsible to guide a child, and it’s not the parents alone, I agree. Also, if the value foundation is strong, even strong storms like bad friend’s groups, gangs would fail or find it difficult to move it. As you say, parents have a responsibility and they need to check out on their child’s friends, company, and activities including the internet, social networking and others, in some way or the other.

      If there’s constant communication between the parent and the child, where the parent also makes aware of the ills of the Internet and the society, like I do with my children, it helps a child from straying. Like you too had a choice of going the wrong way, but you chose to be responsible, likewise everybody is presented with such a choice. Right parenting can help the child make the right choice, and may be directly or indirectly your parents or the family atmosphere also helped you a bit, or could be that you developed a conscience on your own.

      I’ll again use your own statement – Parents need to be alert about what their children do without interfering in their lives. You cannot totally blame it on the aerial roots.

      Carolyn is a wonderful parent and we mostly think alike as parents. And, it’s the first time I tried to use the content of my old posts this way, as what I wanted to write was already written. Glad you liked it.

      Thank you for your great response and for contributing vital points in this so needed discussion. Those lives were precious, and they deserve a tribute in form of introspection and reassessment of where we’re headed to and what’s wrong with the things.

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 20, 2012 at 7:28 am

      Mayura, I’m facing some problems at my blog as even the replies to any comment are appearing as new comment threads. Carolyn has replied to your comment and I request you to look for it further down the rest of the comments while I try to find a fix to this problem. Thanks a lot and sorry for the inconvenience.

      • Mayura

        December 23, 2012 at 6:10 pm

        Sorry to hear you had to go through technical difficulties dear. :) But it happens and you fixed it now.

        Alright Harleena. :) Thanks for letting me know and I’ve got it below dear.

        Have a GREAT weekend…

        Cheers…

  2. Adrienne

    December 19, 2012 at 2:34 am

    Hey Harleena,

    This is such an important topic because of what happened this past Friday in Newtown. It’s been happening for years now and it’s only getting worse.

    I do agree that it starts at home. I know that the child will grow up to mimic the parents whether they realizing they are doing it or not. Do I totally 100% blame the parents? No and I can say that because of my own family. Not that anyone was violent but my older sister and I are total opposites. I’m the nice one and she’s the major full blown bitch. We were raised exactly the same way.

    I do think though that it’s the parents responsibility to see that one particular child may not react in the same way as your other children so if you have to go outside the family in order to help that child then I think that’s what should be done.

    I do know that there are a lot of single mothers who are working several jobs to support their families and they probably aren’t around enough to get a better handle on their children. There are just so many different scenarios that are played out daily but all the suggestions you’ve made here about loving your child, communicating with your child, and taking responsibility for their actions is crucial.

    To me the writing is always on the wall that there is some type of problem if their child is straying somewhat. Most people hate to go outside the home for help and they never think their child could do something violent. Don’t be that parent that didn’t do anything about the warning signs.

    Thanks for sharing this Harleena and it’s a very serious topic that needs to be changed. Maybe this is a start.

    ~Adrienne

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 19, 2012 at 9:04 am

      You’re right, Adrienne, this is time for a discussion on such an important topic. Many lives have been sacrificed, and it feels worse when the little ones succumb to the mistakes of the elders.

      It does start at home – mostly all life-deciding vices and virtues are learned at home. As you rightly mention, the children mostly grow up to mimic the parents. Even those who do not want to, observe later that they are acting like their parents – of course, genes play a role here. But I believe the code can be changed through self efforts, but you need strong inspiration and right guidance for that.

      I don’t say parents are to be 100% blamed, but they’ve to act 100% responsible – do everything possible that is in the parenting book. It’s like if you have a job of a supervisor or manager, wouldn’t you adhere to your job description and play your role effectively. There if you don’t do what you’re supposed to do, you get fired. In case of parenting, rarely do you get fired, but the children go on a rampage firing or make a mess of their lives. That is why parenting is a conscientious and responsible job – there might be nobody sitting on your head to see what you’re doing – you’re mostly on your own as an independent unit, and you’ve to do your job as perfectly as possible.

      Individual differences are always there, different people react different to the same stimuli or situations. But as you say, it’s the parent’s responsibility to observe, oversee, guide, correct, and be responsible enough to seek help if needed.

      Single mothers have great responsibilities and most of them achieve the great feat of managing their personal and professional roles with excellence. A mother or father need not be always around the children to guide them – but they need to give as much as quality time, and plentiful of love. They can regularly communicate and impart values and develop good rapport too. There’s no reason or excuse to shrug away from the heavy responsibility of parenting and taking responsibility of your actions as a parent.

      You said it, Adrienne – it’s the writing on the wall, and it’s a pity some parents can’t still see it! If children deviate, then there’s a problem – it could be anywhere; at home or outside. Parents just need to keep their eyes and ears open, and they’ll see the warning signs – if you don’t then maybe you’re not attentive enough to your children, and that’s bad. No excuses.

      I know many parents are responsible and are doing what it takes to be a good parent, but there are problems in the communities worldwide and we need to be responsible and have a good discussion on this serious topic.

      Thank you so much for taking out time to putting across your so valuable views and making a difference. :)

  3. Deone Higgs

    December 19, 2012 at 4:03 am

    Great approach to this post, Harleena!

    I think stopping violence begins with how the person was parented, but ultimately, most cases are carried out by adults. Of course, unfortunately, there have been many exceptions.

    At any rate, there needs to be a system in place for those children and adults who give off enough signals to let those around them know that they aren’t stable individuals. We as a society need to be more mindful and observe the environment we’re in. If we see something off, report it. We shouldn’t pass it off to the next citizen, because we feel it doesn’t have anything to do with us. It does. It always has something to do with us, or it ties back to us.

    Although, the tragedy in Connecticut didn’t affect people we knew personally, we all were moved by what happened. Therefore, it affects us, right.

    So no, I can’t say that I would throw it all on the parents. Just like the kids who tragically lost their lives, at some point the parents sends their child out into the world to learn everything that the parent does, and a lot of time doesn’t, want them to know.

    It is a “home” problem, but it’s also a “world” problem too.

    Great discussion, my friend.

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 19, 2012 at 9:37 am

      Glad you find the post worthy, Deone!

      Yes, like an individual is the basic unit of the society, family is the constituent block of the world. This petty home problem is a global problem too, and all persons and parents need to get together and bring about a solution to the nasty problem of violence.

      You made a point, Deone – stopping violence begins with how the person was parented, and I’d like to take it further that the impact of parenting carries on and mostly the person throws up only when he or she is an adult. The violent act of adults too are somewhat related to their childhood and poor parenting, I hope you agree.

      I totally agree with you that we all and everybody is responsible, whether we’re the parents or not. It’s our responsibility, as you say, to report, play our part, and help the person, the family, the society and the world. Because you never know you might be saving many innocent lives. It’s a great thought, Deone – We as a society need to be more mindful and observe the environment we’re in. If the parents and their parenting fail, there should be a backup support system.

      Can there be such a system you talk about? Yes, why not. If everybody becomes socially responsible, such violent incidents can be averted. I did read in news that a couple of days after the Newtown incident, the police were alerted about another teen planning another tragedy.

      I’m sure the whole world was shaken up by the Connecticut tragedy – I felt the vibrations thousands of miles away. Personal or not-personal, it does affect us other than the humanity aspect because – it’s something that could happen to you.

      I agree, parents can’t be blamed totally, but the irresponsible parents should not get away with this excuse. Natural disasters cannot be controlled, but parental disasters can be. You can’t blame the sinking of the Titanic on the iceberg; it was a human error and mistake.

      Thanks you for sharing your so important views that makes the discussion useful and I hope many benefit from it. :)

  4. b k chowla

    December 19, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Absolutely, there is no point complaining to and about the political administration.

    The real responsibility lies with the parents.

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 20, 2012 at 9:55 am

      True, a big part of responsibility lies with the parents to improve upon their parenting and raise responsible citizens.

      Thank you for your comment.

  5. Shorya Bist

    December 19, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Hi Harleena,

    The post is very useful and holds a strong importance. Happy to see that you are doing a good work by bringing this kind of topic. In this article all the points you shared are the one which parents and children should understand.

    The reasons you said why the children gets angry is also right as something is there inside them. So here comes the responsibility from both sides. Children should share the things and parents should be ready to accept the things. One of the thing is missing and children are going to totally wrong direction. So foremost thing should be that communication gap shouldn’t be there. It is the main reason children are misled to the wrong direction.

    I want to share my story with you as always. when I was in my teens, I have been through this. I never share with my parents so my parents started telling me that share with us on anything. I thought on it and I started sharing with them. But it was something else now whenever I share something every time they say is this is wrong this is wrong don’t do this no no no….You know every time so it was not a discussion it was like you have rules and whatever we say you have to follow it. Now that is a reason many children stop sharing there things and this can lead them to very wrong direction which can result very dangerous. Same thing happened to me i stopped sharing things, but the difference was I didn’t lead to wrong direction in fact I made me so strong and understandable things. But I know it was wrong but anyone if was in my situation would have done something wrong which i didn’t do.

    So a open discussion should be there between parents and children in which children are comfortable to share and parents should accept and work in mutual ground.

    Thank You
    Shorya Bist

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 20, 2012 at 10:05 am

      Glad you find the post useful, Shorya. Yes, children and parents both need to communicate and cooperate though the responsibility lies with the later to make it happen and that the children do not go in the wrong direction.

      Thanks for sharing your personal life experiences. I’m glad you were understanding and responsible enough to not do any wrongdoing. I hope other children and parents take a lesson.

      Thank you for presenting your views on the issue. :)

  6. Lisa

    December 19, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Harleena, Great topic – what can we do? I don’t blame it all on the parents. I think it can be very hard for some parents to recognize the symptoms of their own children. Some of it is inborn, some influenced strongly by friends and / or bullies. I think some of it is mental illness which is very hard for some to see and / or get help. Especially when one turns 18. No parents can do anything with the HIPA laws. I really don’t know how to put a stop to this all. I could not even watch the news since – just broke my heart see the stories. I think we can start with unconditional love. A basic.

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 20, 2012 at 10:20 am

      True, Lisa, unconditional love has to be the basic, the foundation and in the background all the time. Not all parents are wholly to be blamed, but some irresponsible parents are. You did point out one important fact – it can be hard for some parents to recognize the symptoms of their own children. That’s true and it’s really not easy. And that is one reason why parents hesitate to seek outside help.

      Mental illness is a serious issue, whether it is inborn or developed in due course of life. I feel it is all up to the people to discuss and decide if the laws need to be changed – I’m sure the government will take appropriate actions.

      It was a sad tragedy, and I hope something is done in time to avert any other such tragedies to happen. Thank you for your views.

  7. Frits Commandeur

    December 19, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    In my opinion, the solution is effortlessly transcending, twice a day, by all teachers, parents and children at schools and at their homes, which is naturally happening during the practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique and the Advanced Techniques of the TM Program including Yogic Flying. This statement is not wishful thinking, but based on a) my own experience of the practice of TM and the TM-Sidhi program for nearly 40 years (as others, like Clint Eastwood, Jerry Seinfeld, David Lynch and others are also saying); and b) the research findings of over 700 studies done worldwide at more than 120 universities and research institutes during the last 40 years.

    The schools in the US and Canada and in many countries of South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand where the children practice TM and the TM-Sidhi Program twice a day, are clear examples of the benefits of the practice. On December 21 there will be an event in Mexico, at an ancient Mayan site, where several hundred children will be practicing the TM-Sidhi program including Yogic Flying for the first time. This group is initiating the practice of these techniques by many thousands of students on a daily basis which is likely to produce a very strong, positive effect on world consciousness which will reduce violence and increase peace and harmony across the globe. Similar groups are being planned and have already started to be implemented in the United States, in Europe and in Asian countries, like India and Thailand.

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 20, 2012 at 10:31 am

      Welcome to my blog, Frits!

      I agree that Transcendental Meditation (TM) surely helps to relieve stress and promote peace in individuals. I’ve experienced it myself and it is soothing and calming.

      I feel if any form of meditation is practiced by everybody, the world will see a drastic positive change. It’s great that many schools worldwide are really doing it as a part of their school program.

      This is one aspect of the solution needed to reduce the violence and increase peace and harmony across the globe. Thanks for providing this useful information to all the readers. :)

  8. Debbie

    December 19, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    Very important, “Love heals all and love can stop the violence from taking root in the family.” I am with you I believe that it all starts with parents. We all want and need to be loved. If love is lacking in a childs life, what do they have?

    I only live a few miles from where the Columbine shooting happened. The parents of these two teens were not paying attention to their boys. They were buying them all the material things, was this really loving them?

    Love is something you show by your actions and words, it has nothing to do with material things.

    To get rid of the violence we need to take a look at the way some are parenting, but I do believe that semi-automatic guns have no place in homes. These are guns meant to kill people and for hunting animals, like deer hunting,etc.

    Evil is going to always be around, but there are things we can do to control it, that is why we have police and military people.

    Parents your children are a refection of you. Be a good teacher to them!

    Thank you, Harleena
    Debbie

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 20, 2012 at 10:51 am

      I agree with every word you’ve written, Debbie. Children are really our reflection and we need to be a good teacher and role model to them. Whichever way you take, parents are the starting point.

      Love definitely acts like an antibiotic and save us from the attacks of the viruses of hate and violence. Without love, we aren’t complete as human beings. You’re right, material things cannot replace love through words and actions.

      Lots need to be talked and discussed about how parenting is losing its effectiveness in the present times. Parents need to take lessons from all incidents, including the Columbine shooting.

      The easy access to guns and the gun culture raises serious concerns and questions. I’m sure something will be done about it in the times to come.

      Thanks for sharing your wise views and contributing to the post. :)

  9. Sapna

    December 19, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    Hi Harleena

    I believe it is related more to Parenting and also to the culture we are in. At times parents don’t try to understand children and that results in children reciprocating.

    Parents should be given a training to handle their children in various stages of development. Parents should not try to enforce their views on the children, they should act more like friends with them, try to listen their problems.

    Thanks for sharing this great post at times, when difference type of violence are erupting, latest in Delhi.

    Sapna

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 20, 2012 at 11:05 am

      Glad you like the post, Sapna!

      It is about a global problem and not specific to any particular country or culture. Bad or poor parenting does more harm than one can imagine. Parents need to be more understanding, responsible, and learn the ways of effective parenting – there should be no excuses.

      I agree with your idea of a training program for parents. Better parenting will certainly help in reducing violence.

      Thank you for presenting your views. :)

  10. Carolyn

    December 19, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    Thank you, Mayura and Harleena. If I helped anyone with that article, then I am very pleased. I am grateful to Harleena for allowing me to publish that message here at her site.

    Mayura, yours was such a touching story about the two kids who were helped by someone else’s grandmother. It just shows that it’s worth reaching out and helping others, you could really be making a difference.

    Harleena does that very well here at Aha-Now, reaching out and touching others. She is making a difference in others’ lives with the warm advice she gives here.

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 20, 2012 at 11:17 am

      I’m sorry Carolyn that your comment could not be placed in the right thread as a reply to Mayura’s comment. This seems to be due to a technical problem.

      Your guest post had been wonderful and a great lesson for parents to learn to deal with anger and temper while raising their kids.

      Yes indeed, Mayura contributed a touching story, which reinforces my belief to help others in any which way I can.

      Thank you for your kind words and I hope I’m able to make even a wee bit of difference in anyone’s life. :)

    • Mayura

      December 23, 2012 at 6:07 pm

      Hi Carolyn,

      You’re very welcome dear When I read this post, it came to my mind how your friend teach you about dealing with anger of your teens. I can see a picture in my mind that you both talking about it.

      I was fascinated by the story after meeting those kids and knowing what’s the secret behind it dear For me it’s wonderful story, but for that grandmother, I don’t know what she would have been feeling about it But I guess she’s happy about it more than anyone.

      Wonderful if someone can take time to reach out and help that way dear. To make this World a better place We can break the limits.

      Absolutely Harleena does that very well here as we move with the new tech and all, we need that aspect to balance our life too As I feel she always see the World as a mother filled with love and kindness.

      Happy Holidays dear.

      Cheers…

  11. Carolyn

    December 20, 2012 at 2:02 am

    Hi Harleena, Yes, we can be the very best parents we can possibly be, but mental health issues can affect even the most loving families. I don’t know if you had a chance to read the heart-breaking I Am Adam Lanza’s mother, a blog post by the mother of a disturbed 13 year old boy, but it’s scary to think any one of us could be in her shoes.

    Here is a reply to that article, I Am Adam Lanza’s Psychiatrist: http://www.xojane.com/issues/a-response-to-i-am-adam-lanzas-mother-from-a-doctor-in-the-trenches-i-am-adam-lanzas-psychiatrist

    Scary, scary posts that make you wonder if we will ever be able to tackle these problems.

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 20, 2012 at 12:47 pm

      I read both the articles, Carolyn. I feel the mental health issues and laws in America really need serious thought and reassessment. I believe every problem has a solution if sought with good intent and determination.

      I’ve followed up the Connecticut story, and I observed that it is not yet confirmed that the boy was suffering from a mental illness. May be with time we’ll come to know if he really had it, and was it in-born or acquired during his upbringing. We may not truly know the real causes. There are many serious questions that are being put up regarding this whole incident.

      However, my post relates to the problem of violence in children and adults due to bad or poor parenting. It is not completely related to the Newtown incident. I agree with you that mental health issues can affect even the most loving families. There can be various other reasons besides poor parenting.
      Thank you for sharing your views and contributing to the post. :)

  12. Sylviane Nuccio

    December 20, 2012 at 8:12 am

    Hi Harleena,

    I totally agree that bad parenting can and in many cases will lead to violence. I know some parents that are so irresponsible about their actions with their kids, it just makes me sick. In cases like this you can only pray that the kids don’t turn out serial killers.

    This is also topped by the fact that, as you mentioned, that movies and other entertainment do encourage violence big time. And to put the cherry on the cake, America allows people to have gun pretty much freely so the total of all this is what happened this past Friday in Connecticut. As per the media in this case the kid was mentally ill, but such issues might have come from his upbringing.

    Thank you for bring up this awareness in your post.

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 20, 2012 at 1:30 pm

      I think our views are pretty much similar on this issue, Sylviane!

      Good parenting has chances of bringing up a responsible individual who would detest from adopting violence as a means of expression. I also have seen and heard of many irresponsible parents and I can only worry for their kids or write a post to help make them aware.

      As per the latest news in media, it is not sure the Connecticut kid was mentally ill, but it is sure that he was addicted to severely violent video games and obsessive about guns. Both are serious factors in encouraging violence especially when the parent wasn’t or couldn’t control the behaviors.

      Americans have to decide on the state of the gun culture in America. Easy access is a major concern, especially the semi-automatics and the automatics. But gun is not the main issue, as I learned of from news recently that a man in China tried a similar tragedy with a knife.

      My focus is on upbringing and I feel there needs to be a serious debate on it, not only in America, but worldwide.

      Thanks for sharing your views and contributing to the post. :)

  13. Barbara

    December 20, 2012 at 9:45 am

    This post is well informed. However, It appears that there are more adults that are also causing violence and shootings. Is it the result of bad parenting, or some other traumatic event? There is no way to pin point the absolute cause for all cases in which violent tragedy occurs. Thus it is apparent that a parent’s responsibility does not stop after childhood. As adults we may still rely on the wisdom and encouragement brought from our families.

    It is my observation that in one case of the shootings (The tragedy of Sandy Hook) the shooter had lost touch with many family members within the past two years. What else can be done if the family isolates someone to the point of near violence? The responsibility then falls on the community. There is a lack of compassion that is undeniable. By showing interest in our community members and simply talking to them when they appear upset, we can provide the same comfort that may be lost from a distant family.

    I am not claiming that it is each citizens responsibility to care for everyone else. I am only claiming that at times, all someone needs is a calm ear to hear them.

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 20, 2012 at 6:32 pm

      Welcome to my blog, Barbara!

      Good parenting is one where the child is taught all essential life skills, the ability to resolve problems and face the word with confidence, and be full of love and optimism. Children who live with love and values fare better in tackling adversities in life and traumatic events with understanding even when they’re adults.

      People who’ve experienced bad or poor parenting are generally not all that well prepared unless they make extra self efforts with determination, some become failures in life, and a few of them resort to violent expression when they’re adults. So when you think of parenting, you think not only of small children – these kids grow up as adults and carry their experiences with them and develop their personalities based on that. You’re right that a parent’s responsibility does not stop even after childhood.

      There are different stories out there about the Sandy Hook tragedy and the perpetrators family. Not going into all that but talking alone of love and compassion, I feel the same as you – it is what bonds a family together. An aware and concerned community creates a safety net – saves those who somehow do not get a warm and positive family atmosphere.

      As you mention, by simply listening and talking to community members who are upset, you do a lot to lessen their anxieties and help lessen the chances of violence.

      Thank you for presenting your beautiful views and contributing to the post. :)

  14. Amandah

    December 20, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    Great post! Here are my thoughts.

    “The View”

    I loved what Dr. Michael Welner, Forensic Psychologist, said on Monday’s episode of “The View.” He used words such as LIFE CHOICES. He used phrases such as “TAKING PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.” Stop blaming the government, your childhood (I’ll speak on that later in my comment.), your parents, the dog, the cat, etc. Take responsibility for your life choices! Dr. Welner also said that parents shouldn’t buy their kids violent video games in the first place. Whoopie Goldberg added, “What do you when the parent is the one buying the violent video games and playing them in front of their children?” Good question. Dr. Welner also mentioned that it comes down to parenting. And that our culture has gone ‘gaga’ for celebrities and 15 minutes of fame. He said that if someone, somewhere sees the attention a person receives after committing a crime, that person may think, “If I do something, I’ll become famous.” Another good point.

    I recommend watching Monday’s episode of the “The View.” It was an eye opener.

    Violent Childhoods

    I’m the product of a dysfunctional home environment. My father was an abusive alcoholic. My mother stayed with him. It took me many years to untangle the web that was/is my family dynamic. However, I did it. I understood that my mom and dad were once children and that abuse is a cyclical effect that won’t stop until someone breaks the cycle. I broke it.

    Even though my father was mentally, emotionally, and physically abusive, my sister and I didn’t CHOOSE a life of drugs, alcohol, crime, and promiscuity. Why? We had a loving mother. A mother who told us she loved us (My dad told us when he was sober. I do believe he loved us. He just had a disease.) Our mother (I should have listened to her) always told us we could do anything we wanted to if we put our mind to it.

    I don’t agree with my mother for staying with my father, but my mom’s from a different generation than me. And her parents were deceased. She felt like she had nowhere to go. Back in the 1980s, abuse and suicide were beginning to crack the surface. Shelters, especially women’s shelters, were just starting to be formed. We didn’t even know about autism or Asperger’s Syndrome.

    Even though my childhood wasn’t up to my standards, I know my parents did the best they could at the time. Like I said, when my dad was sober, he was kind. I get “why” he turned to alcohol; it’s what he learned as a child. Could he have chosen differently? Yes, he could have. But YOU need to be open to accepting help. You need to LOOK IN THE MIRROR and say, “I need help. I have a drinking (or whatever problem) you have. It always comes back to YOU!

    Parenting

    Let’s face it; being a parent is a lot of work. But it can be rewarding. I chose not to have kids because I believe I’m meant to help kids get through and heal from their childhoods through my writing and speaking. I know there are many children in our foster care systems and on the streets. They need help. They deserve help and love.

    Today, some parents are TOO WRAPPED up in their own dramas to care about their kids. Or they stick their kids with a nanny or in daycare (costs a lot of money) five days per week and expect someone else to take care of them. What happens? The daycare teachers and workers teach kids manners, respect, numbers, reading, etc. The kids go back home, especially on a Friday, and come back on Monday discombobulated. Why? Because the work that the teachers and daycare workers do is undone because parents are rushing around or want to ‘chill out’ because it’s the weekend. I’m not making this up. I have an inside source who worked at a daycare and now works in our local school system. It’s an eye opener.

    Parents today are either “hover parents” or “absent parents.” They either want to control every second of their child’s life. Or they let them do what they want and get away with stuff. There’s no discipline, structure, manners, and organization. Kids are also raised with the expectation that they’ll get their way, no matter what. This kind of mentality is making the lives of teachers and professors at schools and colleges miserable. They have to deal with parents who call or email them about their child’s grade. They do what they can to change it. Really. How about if your child works harder for a better grade? Believe it or not, a child could apply themselves and receive a better grade.

    My Belief

    I believe children have become status symbols like a Mercedes Benz or $1 Million Dollars. Please don’t have children just because you think it will impress someone, somewhere. Have children because you actually have A CALLING to be a mother and or father. And for heaven sakes, don’t have children because your mother or mother-in-law tells you that you need to have kids because they want to be a grandma. Gently tell them you’re not ready and that it’s your life — butt out!

    My Utopian World

    My Utopian World would be one in which people heal their lives before they get married and have kids. If you had a crappy childhood, heal it. If you had a crappy marriage, heal it. If you got pregnant at 16, heal it so you child doesn’t repeat the pattern. In my opinion, it’s all very simple. WE THE PEOPLE need to stop blaming society, media, government, and take personal responsibility. You don’t have to buy violent video games. You don’t have to pay money to watch violent movies. You don’t have to watch television networks that air questionable programs. And more importantly, you don’t have to give into your kids! Learn to say and mean NO. My parents did. I never got everything I wanted. And I wasn’t babied. Yes, I grew up fast because of my situation, but at the same time, my parents did instill in me how to be self-sufficient and reliant and independent. Like I said, my father was no angel, but at least he and my mother gave my sister structure, organization, and discipline. We were also taught manners.

    Final Thoughts

    I like what Ellen DeGeneres says before she ends her talk show, “Be kind to one another.” That’s good advice. We need to put down the smartphones, iPads, iPods, coffee, etc. and reconnect to one another. Social media is okay, but it’s not the same as getting out of your house and speaking with your neighbors. It’s not the same as getting out of your house and welcoming the new neighbors across the street from you. And it’s not the same as having a meal with your family and or friends. So… get off Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. and go outside and meet some people. :) If you want to have a sense of community, you have to help build it. If you want to stop the violence, YOU NEED TO BE THE CHANGE IN THE WORLD that does it.

  15. Corinne Rodrigues

    December 20, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Your post is absolutely fantastic and spot on, Harleena. The violence that’s spilling over is what’s started in our homes and implanted deeply in the minds and hearts of our children. Everywhere they look they have examples of people using violence to get their way. It’s so important that parents teach them otherwise. Some weeks ago, I read something that made me smile, but it was so true (paraphrased): We worry about the kind of world we are leaving to our children. Perhaps we need to worry about the kind of children we are leaving to the world.

    Thank you for your strong and wise voice, Harleena. ♥

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 20, 2012 at 9:21 pm

      Glad you like the post, Corinne!

      I’m happy that people have responded to this serious issue and there’s been a great discussion going on here. It is so elementary and important and I wonder why we as a society, country, or the world aren’t able to get it – It all starts at our homes, as you say it.

      I agree with everything you’ve written. So ironic but so true is the quote you mention; we need to invest in our children, our time and love, and be better parents. The world will become a better place.

      Thank you for your beautiful views and contribution to the post. :)

  16. Ruchira

    December 20, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    Great pointers, Harleena.

    Guns don’t kill people. People kill people!

    Was a pleasure to come by your blog. Following you to get a daily dose :)

  17. Ajith Prasad Edassery

    December 21, 2012 at 12:06 am

    I guess it’s going to take a while. In my opinion, it’s not just about good parenting. Of course, parenting plays a huge role but most of what you hear today and see on TV is mainly due to the vast difference between the rich and poor. The disparity is so high in countries like India and that’s where the problem starts. Once poverty is tackled, we could focus on 100% literacy and then starts all those best practices. Just my thought!

  18. Dwayne Castle

    December 21, 2012 at 12:22 am

    Hi Harleena,

    I believe I agree with much of what you say in that we need to love our children and give them appropriate boundaries, means of expression, etc. However, there are many people who come from broken or violent homes yet don’t duplicate the poor behavior. Likewise, there are those who have committed atrocities yet their siblings were well-adjusted individuals.

    I try to evaluate all of life through the lens of scripture. There is evil in this world. Real evil. And if there is evil, there is also good. When we try to figure out the greater meaning behind tragedy with our own human brains, we will fail every time. Look at the history of violence and we see the stated causes as flawed laws, bad parenting, mental neglect, failed religion, etc.

    But do we ever see a turning of our collective hearts toward God? Do we ever see global or even national acceptance of the theology of repentance? No. Instead, we shake our fists at God and demand answers, but refuse to acknowledge Him at other times. We run, as nations, to the church at time of calamity, but work to ignore him or to remove His statutes from our daily lives.

    Evil abounds, but where it does, grace abounds so much more. I pray that even as there are those who will scoff at my reply and beliefs, there will be others who stop and ask themselves these questions: Is God real and if so, is He to blame for the bad? And if so, isn’t He also to “blame” for the good? If God is real, should we try to live up to His standards or require Him to fit our ever changing human intellect, emotional needs, and conveniences?

    Thank you for your tackling of such a serious topic. We will not solve these matters with sensitivity training or parenting classes. We will not solve them through church or school programs. We will not solve them with legislation or by politicizing them. We will not solve these problems. Period. What we can do is love. Love God and love one another. Through this we can share a hope and a future and that will help others to make better choices for themselves and others.

  19. Annie Andre

    January 7, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    Hi Harleena, I agree with what you say about better parenting but… as Adrienne mentioned above, not all the blame can be put on the parents.

    In the case of these recent shootings where children or young adults are shooting other people, weren’t they um.. “sick in the head”. not well mentally? In such a case, at what point do we as parents say, ok, my son/ daughter may be a danger to society but hasn’t done anything YET? What can they do? I’ve been thinking about this for a long time and I don’t have an answer. I feel saddened by this and wonder what would I do if i was one of those poor parents of the killers?

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      January 8, 2013 at 9:41 am

      Yes, of course, Annie. Parenting and upbringing is not totally to be blamed for violent behavior in children. There are many other factors and causes besides it. But I just took up that one factor as that relates to the theme of my blog.

      You raised a good question – at what point should the parents seek external help. Now, this is very crucial and it is where the parent needs to be very much responsible. Also, many other readers pointed out some facts with reference to the recent shootings that raised some questions on the attitude of the parent. For instance, responsible parents do not allow their mentally sick children to play violent video games and take up shooting as an exercise to develop self-respect and self-confidence.

      However, my post was in general more about the common violence rather than being specific to the recent shooting, and I hope you agree that parents do carry a lot of responsibility on their shoulders.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views. :)

  20. Galen Pearl

    January 12, 2013 at 7:29 am

    I think we get overwhelmed and discouraged because we see so many factors that feed this growing violence. Everyone is pointing the finger at someone else–parents, schools, TV, economy, laws, diet, environment, and so on. How can addressing one aspect solve anything? And yet, that’s really all we can do. We can only address what we ourselves have any influence over. If we are parents, then what happens at home is our responsibility. We can all do our part.

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      January 12, 2013 at 10:08 am

      That’s true Galen!

      I guess we as parents or caretakers never tend to see our own faults and are quick to point fingers at everyone and anyone around us, just as you mentioned, without really understanding the main reason such violence arises from.

      I agree – as parents the least we can do from our end is take care of our kid’s and how we raise them – isn’t it? At least w would then have the satisfaction of having done our best.

      Thanks for sharing your views on this topic. :)

  21. Michael Belk

    January 17, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Harleena, I agree with you that gun laws are not necessarily the answer. I believe gun laws are an easy way out.

    We need to control video games, responsible television, monitor what kids are exposed to. We do not fully understand how violence affects children.

    Also single Mothers are having to leave their young kids at home too much.

  22. Ferb

    January 17, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    Violence really can’t solve a damn thing! It just get others hurt but problem is still hasn’t solved. Even if it solved, it will go in a negative way and positive is really what a problem wanna solved.

    Thanks – Ferb

  23. Priya N

    January 19, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    Yes Harleena, that is true. We need to become better parent & teach them what is good & what is bad. One of the important lesson we can teach them is how to manage their angers. That is the root of all violence. Our duty is not limited to our kids but we need to educate others as well who don’t have any mentor. Even if we can manage to reach one such child, then we can really make a better world.

    Thanks for writing such a nice article.

  24. Gladys

    March 7, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    This articles touches the most emotional areas of who I AM.

    I was raised with lots of physical and emotional abuse as well as the rest of my brothers and sisters. My father, now deceased, aniseed us everyday. I believe my mom, deceased as well was a victim without a voice.

    There is so much I want to share, but I will as you write your articles. To make a very long story short, my youngest brother has a life sentence for killing three people. He became violent and I was bullied for many years. I am very grateful that I have recovered, and now I am becoming a voice for the silent.

    I totally agree with your article. There are so many things that contribute to violence in the home and schools.
    My heart is to touch one person, one child and one family One At A Time.

    Thank you for being a VOICE for those who suffer in silence.

    Gladys…posted ..A disease Called Bullying.

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      March 10, 2013 at 11:47 am

      Welcome to the blog Gladys!

      Glad you could relate to the post. :)

      Sorry to hear all that you underwent, and all of this must not have been easy for you. But like I keep saying, there must have been a reason why your father behaved the way he did. Perhaps there was something that might have happened with or to him earlier in his life that might have resulted in him being the way he was.

      I sure am glad that you are through that terrible phase of your life, and are now a voice for the silent. I guess when you have undergone so much yourself, you have a lot to give to the society and people who might be going through the same things or even worse in some cases. I’m sure with your aim to touch the lives of people, one at a time, you would be a great help to those who are in need.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with all of us. :)

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