Dear All,

Why is it that after every session of a motivational speaker we are super charged… and as days go by…?


Everything dies down.

This is my way of keeping the charge- charged as long as I can.

Yesterday I attended a workshop on ‘Positive Parenting’ by Shiv Khera. As usual I had tears in my eyes quite a few times during the almost 3 hour’s session. I learnt many a things out of this seminar.

“Life is a one-way street, it doesn’t have a rewind button” he said. Our greatest goal is to bring up a responsible adult in this world. This we can do by converting a child’s dependence into independence.

He said if our job performance is poor, we are shifted to other departments or maybe transferred but if as a parent we perform poor….

Discipline is an act of love and we need to convert external discipline into self discipline. He gave few examples, he said if we could freely drive on any side of the road what would happen. But if we follow the traffic rules we would reach home earlier. Discipline is necessary in every part of life.

In olden times we have seen a situation where a father and a son would be sitting across each other. The son would have to behave and respect his father. In modern times we see a son with his feet stumped on the table facing his father with a video game in hand and a senseless tune on his lips. A father doesn’t ask the son to keep his feet down. He says I am my son’s friend rather than a father.


There are two types of generation prevailing in the society today.

1.       The NO generation -this consists of people above 50 years of age.

2.       The YES generation -this consists of people below 50 years of age.

In those times when we asked our parent,

“Can I go to the movie?” the answer was NO

“Can I go to a restaurant?” the answer was NO.

“Can I go to a friend’s place to stay overnight?” The answer was still NO.

In modern times when a parent is asked,

“Mom, Can I go to the movie?” the answer is YES

“Dad, Can I go to a restaurant?” the answer is YES

“Can I go to a friend’s place to stay overnight?” If you say no he will ask ‘WHY’ you will try to give an explanation to one ‘WHY’ and it will be followed by another ‘WHY’… this will go on and on till finally you give up, lose your patience and say, ‘OK YES GO!!!’

Children today have become very TECH-SAVY but the flip side is that they are uncomfortable with people. They are more used to machines rather than humans. But the truth is that  they have to interact with lots of people in their day-to-day life, he can’t marry a machine [at least not till now!!]

To be a successful individual we need to instill these two virtues in our children,

1.       Ability to deal with other people.

2.        The selling ability.

We need to establish certain bench marks on universal values and attitudes for them to follow. Any person who says that values and attitudes can be changed according to a situation has no values himself.

According to Shiv Khera, intelligence means the ability to be a quick learner.

He was telling us about his lecture in U.S.A where he was talking about values and ‘right’ & ‘wrong’.

Some gentleman got up and asked, ‘isn’t your statement contradictory to what Shakespeare said, “There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so”.

Shiv Khera simply said that he doesn’t agree with Shakespeare.

If a man happens to jab a knife in your kidney, turns it around three four times, you tell him that what he does is WRONG and he tells you, ‘Haven’t you read Shakespeare, “There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so”.

We are the ones to set an example. When a child turns 13 suddenly he becomes a notorious teenager? No, it is the reflection of the past 12 years that you see. The way you discipline your child counts. He told us about another incident where after a lecture an elderly couple came to consult with him. He said,

“I am not qualified to consult”.

The couple said we want to talk. He was told how the couples 17 year daughter watches television for 5-6 hours a day. Shiv asked them,

“What do you do when she is watching the T.V”?

They said, “We try to stop her”.

Shiv inquired again, “And does she stop?”

The reply was in negative so Shiv further asked,

“What do you do then?”

The reply was, “NOTHING”.

Shiv asked, “Since when has she been watching T.V for so long”

The reply was, “Since when she was TEN YEARS OLD”.

“What did you do when she started this at the age of ten?”

The couple said they tried to stop her.

Shiv asked, “And did she stop then”

The answer was again NO.

“What did you do then?”

The answer was NOTHING.

When our child comes home with a result, if it is good we congratulate him. If it is bad, we tell him how his cousin or his brother/sister scored well and he couldn’t. Don’t ever compare your child to anybody. Teach him healthy comparison of comparing his last performance to this performance. Congratulate him on his commitment and not on the end result alone.

Some points that Shiv Khera taught about POSITIVE PARENTING:

  • ‘As long as you have your eyes on the goal, you don’t see the obstacles’
  • ‘Boundaries are very crucial in life, Boundaries are not Bondages.’
  • ‘Parenting is not a popularity contest.’
  • ‘Don’t fight and contradict your spouse in front of your children’. He went on to explain how our kids learn to play politics and become ‘CHEER LEADERS’ by this act of ours.
  • ‘Teach the kids HUMILITY and remove his EGO’. He shared how when he was a young boy his parents took him to an orphanage where he would serve 100 children and will sit with them and have the same food himself. This was the PRIMARY celebration. Cutting the cake and throwing a party were always SECONDARY. This will help children learn how privileged they themselves are.
  • He told us about an incident when his daughter took his grandson to an orphanage. He saw many kids in tattered clothes and asked,
  • “Mom, where are the parents? Why are they alone here?”

His daughter explained that many kids here had no parents and some have been disowned by their parent. The grandson hugged his daughter and said,

“Mom, please don’t ever leave me and go away…”

  • He went on to explain by reciting a story of a very wealthy father who on his sons seventeenth birthday declares to throw a birthday bash in a five star hotel with a seven star cake and all the BIG people of town. He presents his son an expensive car’s keys and a costly mobile and says,

“Go son, terrorize the town”.

The son drives with an attitude when some other Punk overtakes him and gives him ‘THE LOOK OF SEE HOW SMART I AM’.

The son wants to teach this Punk a lesson and steps up on the accelerator. He is confident that his father can buy anything and everything. Soon he loses control of the car, meets with an accident and all is over.

His father repents, ‘I wish I had given my son some values instead of the car keys’.

  • ‘Don’t feel pressurized to buy expensive gifts for your children’.
  • ‘Those who have never learnt to obey can never learn to command.’
  • ‘There’s got to be loving firmness and a healthy fear’.
  • ‘Sometimes in life you have got to be UNKIND to be KIND’.
  • Answer the INQUISITIVE ‘WHY’ queries of your child but when he challenges your decision simply say, ‘BECAUSE I SAY SO’.
  • ‘Teach your child to do only the right thing even if no one is watching.’
  • ‘Labels stick throughout the life. For a positive child give a positive label.’ If you call your child ‘stupid idiot’ etc. by the time he grows up he is so full of inferiority complex that he will surely prove his parent right.
  • ‘Children need QUALITY AS WELL AS QUANTITY time.’

We have heard workaholic fathers say that they do give quality time to their kids and quality matters, quantity doesn’t matter. A very nice picture was placed by Shiv to explain this to us.

Imagine you go to a restaurant in Ahmedabad; it has the best cutlery imported from china. The best chandelier, the best furniture, and all the best things we can think of. You are given the menu and a very well dressed waiter comes to serve with the finest elegance. Assume you ordered ‘Paneer tikka’. He serves you one very small piece which tastes delicious. You say, ‘give me more’. The waiter says, ‘sir, it’s the quality that matters and not the quantity’.

You say that you are still hungry for more and the waiter says again, ‘sir, it’s the quality that matters and not the quantity’.

  • He talked about how we need to practice what we preach. We are the role models our kids learn from.

This was illustrated by the story given below.

Father is reading a newspaper in the living room when the phone rings and his six year old son answers the phone. The voice from the other end inquires about his father and the boy says,

‘Yes he is home; I will get him for you’.

He skips and hops and tells his dad.

Dad asks, ‘son what did you say?

Son said I told him you are home.

Dad said, ‘Go tell him I am not here, I don’t want to talk to him right now’.

Son said, ‘But dad, you are home!’

‘Yes, but tell him I am not!’

‘But dad, you are home.’

‘Will you say that or should I teach you’

Father raises his voice.

Size matters father is BIG, he is SMALL… so the kid slowly loses the enthusiasm and walks slowly to the phone, his reflex action takes charge and he blurts out,

‘Dad says he is not at home’


Next time the phone rings, when the son is asked,

‘Where is your dad?’

He answers… ‘Let me go and check’.

He goes to his father and tells him about the caller.

Father asks, ‘what did you say?’

‘I said I will go and check.’

Father says, ‘GOOD BOY’

Son says, ‘Dad let me go and say that you are not at home, you need not answer the phone’.

Dad says, ‘No wait I want to answer this call’.

We teach our kids that it is bad to lie and we appreciate them when they lie on our behalf.

Children like to hear ‘GOOD BOY’ or ‘GOOD GIRL’.

Here the management theory given by … [I am sorry I didn’t get the name] enters,


You have rewarded your child’s lying habit and hence it is bound to be repeated.

Haven’t we all heard, ‘PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT’


If you practice the wrong habits, they will stick to you…

He talked about a busy doctor father residing in the states. He came home with some friends and when he was entertaining the guest the phone rang and he asked his teenage son who was watching television to answer the phone. The son didn’t get up. The phone rang again after few minutes. Father asked the son to answer the phone. The request fell on deaf years.

The son went into the kitchen to refill his coke; father followed him and asked him why he wouldn’t answer the phone.

The son spoke with arrogance, ‘I didn’t want to’.

Father gave him a tight slap. The son banged his feet, went upstairs and called the number ‘800’.

Papa was having dinner when the doorbell rang. Papa opened the door; the cops asked him,

‘Did you slap your son?’

Father said, ‘YES I DID’

They arrested the dad.

Child abuse is a serious matter it is prevailing in many countries including ours but to slap a child in order to discipline the child in no way amounts to child abuse. 80% of children abroad black mail their parents and threaten them to call ‘800’ and get them arrested.

Shiv Khera told us that his mother had slapped him 3 times in 21 years that is 1 slap every 7 years. NOT BAD.

When asked by a reporter how he would rate himself as a father on a 1 to 10 scale where 10 is a perfect parent and 1 is a bad parent. He put himself at no 3 and told us that he had failed as a father and told us,

‘Those who learn from their mistakes are wise but those who learn from others mistakes are wiser.’

He was giving us an opportunity to learn from the mistakes he made.

He told us the short falls of being a single parent or handling a single child.

When Shiv was young, the family lost all. He went to America, washed cars, sold insurance and vacuum cleaners. His daughter was very young then. His wife took up a job to support the family. Whenever they thought about another child, they told each other, ‘LATER’. The later never happened… life went on. When their daughter was 15, the thought that what would happen when they die, will they be leaving an orphan behind? Cousins have their own lives… even siblings do. They also thought, ‘what if our only child dies a sudden death?’

These thoughts made the couple uncomfortable and they went to meet a Gynecologist friend to consult if at the age of 40-41 he and his wife of 39 could have a baby without any complications?

The friend assured that there are many tests available to detect any defect in the baby. They went ahead and had another daughter. Now the problem was that they had another single child. The eldest being 17, was more like a mother rather than a sibling. So now they had 2 mothers, a father and a child.

If a medical problem is a reason for you to have a single child it is okay and understandable…

We were shown a film on HIV and on smoking. Some facts that were given were astonishing.

The research that took place on smokers has made many countries change their laws. The point,

Which strongly came out was that if you don’t turn a smoker by the age of 19, chances are that you will never smoke. Long back the cigarette companies were the biggest sponsors of sporting event, which is now banned. Cigarette companies are also not allowed to advertise. The statistics revealed by the film were horrendous. I am sure any parent present with a smoking habit must have given up the habit there and then.

If a parent says ‘anything within limits is okay’.

Is smoking within limits okay?

Is HIV within limits okay?

According to me, Gujarat has wisely declared the state as a dry area, alcohol is banned here. I wish someone would ask the government to ban ‘GUTKA’ and ‘PAN MASALA’.

We need to cleanse ourselves before we can clean the society.

Well, I learnt a lot from the workshop yesterday. I have tried to quote all the things that were covered but if I have misrepresented some of the information, I would like to apologize for the same.