Child upbringing – by Pajsije

Recently I have read the article about the monk Pajsije from Mount Athos Greece. The article is about his notes for parents related to child upbringing. His pieces of advice I consider as evergreen – a perfect blend of old times wisdom and newest standpoints on how to raise your child. Here is they are, carefully translated for your quality reading experience. I will start and end with the most beautiful one. Enjoy!

– Now, when your kids are still young, you are obliged to help them understand what is right. That really is the deepest meaning of life. 

– Kids are not guilty. Today, we are keeping them closed in apartments, they don’t have space to run, to play. They are forced to be restless. They cannot move, spend energy. They need a backyard to grow up properly. If I enter a flat and everything is tidy and neat, I know something is wrong there. Kids live there under military discipline and fear enters their souls. 

– Don’t be afraid for kids that are raised with respect. Even if they stray away from good path, because of age or temptation, they will get back. They are like wooden furniture covered with protective layer, they will never get rotten. 

– The kids need to be thought from early age to work, to accept failure, to be ‘though’. Both boys and girls. Girls need to be graceful and courageous. All kids should do chores since early age, most of parents spoil their kids: that way, our little ones stay unhappy whole their life. 

– Good teacher is very valuable asset, especially in our times! Kids are ‘tabula rasa’, blank flash drives: you can save a trashy songs or Byzantine spiritual chants. Being a teacher is a holly occupation. 

– Little tree with fragile twigs can only be tied with very soft string, not with wire. Otherwise it will start to collapse and will eventually break. The same is with little human being, you should ‘twist’ and restrain it’s behavior very gently and with compassion. Young boy filled will life and egoism should not be silenced roughly and at once: like a tree, it grows small green twigs with a lot of juices. 

– Kids are their parents’ imitators. Whatever parents do, it will be saved in a ‘blank hard disk’. That’s why we as parents need to cut off all our hazardous wishes and actions.

– Today, parents are not aiming to fill in kids time with anything, they leave emptiness for them. One parent’s attention is divided from another, they gaze in different directions – how kid will find love in such case? We need to give kids love, compassion and positive content, education comes after. 

– Current time brought huge leap forward, parents don’t understand kids and the other way around. All should put themselves in each-other shoes in order to gain mutual understanding. Kids are not to be blamed. They are bombarded from all directions with so many theories: this is good, that is not, etc. They don’t know what to think at the end. You should tie them under your influence, but very gently and with caution. Here, I restrained my tomato with gentle string, what would happen if I did it with wire? Wouldn’t I hurt it? 

– A child who took the wrong path cannot be corrected by cruel and brutal actions, it will bring even more harm. Talk to a child about good, in a nice way, don’t let it see how sad you are about him going down the wrong path. Let only good deeds speak for themselves, happiness and sadness won’t go unnoticed. Fulfill your obligations, give an advice and let the God guide your child.

– As much as you can, make sure you don’t push your child away from you, it can cut the ties and run away from family. Further, it may happen that out of egoism it won’t feel like getting closer to you and you will lose it completely.

– Parents sometimes, out of great love, do harm to kids. They suffocate them with too much attention. It’s not healthy. You see, even love wants some break, some balance.

– Should the punishment be used on kids? The fear is also a natural break. For example, kid is climbing the chair, not knowing what will happen if she falls. After a punishment, a child will think carefully. As soon as kid start to understand your words, we should start explaining them with kindness and patience. 

Some parents correct their kids too much, even in front of others! Like they have a mule that they lead holding a leash with words “Just feel free to go forward!” We should not live our lives by a clock all the time. Today, both old and young generations live their lives like in a nuts house. That’s why we need a lot of patience and a lot of prayer. Lot of young people get diseases as if they were old (heart stroke, brain stroke, diabetes, cancer…). We need clear pragmatic judgement – we should wind up our clock by the kid itself, not by our own expectations – every child is different. 

– Teachers should not look only if their pupils got the lecture right. They should consider other child virtues, like grace, kindness, eloquence. God’s grade marks are not always in line with teacher’s marks. It may happen that the worst teacher’s grade is actually the highest God’s grade and the other way around.

– The world has sunk into madness. Young kids go to sleep at midnight, and they should be in bed by Sunset. They are closed in skyscrapers, concrete, and fit in only into their parent’s schedule. What should kids do, what should their parents do? Kids come and say: “My parents don’t understand what I really need…” There is a gap growing between parents and children.  To overcome that gap, it’s important that parents look things from the children’s angle. That’s a closed cycle: if children don’t respect their parents, then kid’s children won’t respect them either – that’s how spiritual laws function.

– Parents don’t understand importance of discipline, leaving kids to do as they’re pleased. This way, parents will only make crooks and tramps. If you let your kid to answer your kind word with 5 bad ones, you slowly raise your child to become criminal. Today’s youth is completely out of boundaries, reckless – and we call it freedom. “Don’t touch your kids!” If children don’t listen and answer to anyone, they will be raised as complete rebels, destroying each and every system of values that is there. 
– Now, when your kids are still young, you are obliged to help them understand what is right. That really is the deepest meaning of life. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *