Home > Motivate Yourself > Non-Violence In Parenting.

Non-Violence In Parenting.

By: R.Hundoo.

Dr. Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and founder of the M.K. Gandhi  Institute for Non-violence, in his June 9 lecture at the University of Puerto Rico , shared the following story as an example of “non-violence in parenting”

“I was 16 years old and living with my parents at the institute my grandfather had founded 18 miles outside of Durban, South Africa, in the middle of the sugar plantations. We were deep in the country and had no neighbors, so my two sisters and I would always look forward to going to
town to visit friends or go to the movies.

One day, my father asked me to drive him to town for an all-day conference, and I jumped at the chance. Since I was going to town, my mother gave me a list of groceries she needed and, since I had all day in town, my father ask me to take care of several pending chores, such as getting the car serviced. When I dropped my father off that morning, he said, ‘ I will meet you here at 5:00 p.m., and we will go home together.’


After hurriedly completing my chores, I went straight to the nearest movie theatre. I got so engrossed in a John Wayne double-feature that I forgot the time. It was 5:30 before I remembered. By the time I ran to the garage and got the car and hurried to where my father was waiting for me, it was almost 6:00.

He anxiously asked me, ‘ Why were you late? ‘I was so ashamed of telling him I was watching a John Wayne western movie that I said, ‘ The car wasn’t ready, so I had to wait, not realizing that he had already called the garage. When he caught me in the lie, he said: ‘There’s something
wrong in the way I brought you up that didn’t give you the confidence to tell me the truth. In order to figure out where I went wrong with you, I’m going to walk home 18 miles and think about it. ‘

So, dressed in his suit and dress shoes, he began to walk home in the dark on mostly unpaved, unlit roads. I couldn’t leave him, so for five-and-a-half hours I drove behind him, watching my father go through this agony for a stupid lie that I uttered. I decided then and there that I was never going to lie again.

I often think about that episode and wonder, if he had punished me the way we punish our children, whether I would have learned a lesson at all. I don’t think so. I would have suffered the punishment and gone on doing the same thing. But this single non-violent action was so powerful that it is still as if it happened yesterday. That is the power of non-violence.”

“Forgiveness is giving up my right to hate you for hurting me”

Categories: Motivate Yourself
  1. February 17, 2011 at 10:25 am

    What a way to make a child realize its lie…….speechless

  2. February 17, 2011 at 11:28 am

    @ Silent Observer – Very true, Thank you for dropping by 🙂

  3. rajeev
    February 17, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Only if, we parents could learn from this. Such a lesson is everlasting. Child will never tell a lie.

  4. rajeev
    February 17, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    I will relate a child hood story here. My father too had brought me up in such ethics. I was in class one, may be about 6-7 years old. We had gone to see a movie. I still remember the name. It was “Sujata” staring Nutan and Sunil Dutt. On return it was heavily raining and all of us got drenched. I and my younger sister were put to bed soon after dinner.

    Next day, when teacher asked who had not done the home work, I raised my hand. Teacher called me to her desk and held my ear and asked the reason for not doing the homework. I told her the truth. In the meanwhile my father who had come to pay the school fee was crossing the class room. He saw the whole episode.

    In the evening he asked me if any thing had happened in school. I related the whole story. He held me tight to his chest and said, “ I am proud of you for speaking the truth, next time whenever we go for a movie, we will see that all homework is done so that my ears are never pulled again”.

  5. February 17, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    @ Rajeev – This is truly awesome story, and thank you very much for sharing it with all of us, I am sure many parents will use this story for own personal development and motivate their children to speak the truth in any condition 🙂

    • rajeev
      February 19, 2011 at 10:11 am

      Thanks a lot.

  6. Amisha
    February 22, 2011 at 5:27 am

    This is very good for all parents.Thanks for shering Rajiv&Rajeev

  7. February 22, 2011 at 9:08 am

    @ Amisha – Thank you very much 🙂

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