Parent-child relationships usually suffer due to inadequate communication and unfulfilled expectations, which create obstacles that eventually produce a larger conflict. BAPS organizes programs that encourage communication and understanding between parents and their children. Recognizing that united families have the potential to bring entire communities together, the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, with the inspiration of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, works to improve parent-child relationships around the world.
By teaching children to value their parents and their wishes, these programs instill a sense of respect early on. Daily practices such as bowing down to one’s elders, serving them, and not talking disrespectfully to them are all methods for improving parent-child relations. Weekly assemblies for youths emphasize developing an amiable relationship with parents. By providing a forum for discussion, youths receive positive reinforcement from their peers to bridge the generation gap with their parents.
Parents enroll in specific workshops to sharpen their parenting skills with children. Parents are coached on overcoming various parenting hurdles. Parents receive guidance and support from sadhus, recommendations from fellow parents, and feedback from youth leaders. Parents are provided a medium to mix with each other and discuss modes of communication that work. They are encouraged to cultivate an interest in their children’s lives and refrain from taking a totalitarian approach. Weekly satsang sabhas for adults also routinely focus on communication with children.
Pramukh Swami Maharaj advises parents and children to effectively communicate in order to avoid misunderstandings. He urges them to look past any disagreements and to remember that they are part of one family. Moreover, special publications and periodicals are catered to benefit both parents and children. These programs help solidify the parent-child relationship in the home.