Kids, Parenting

Does Mythology help kids to be emotionally strong?

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I still have fond memories of my childhood days when I sat on the lap of my dad and heard mythological stories of Ramayana, Mahabharata and folk lores of Lord Jagannath.

Today, my children too enjoy these stories. Mythological stories always have that mystic charm that allures the young mind. I introduced the mythological characters of Ramayana to my kids when they were just three years old. Through these stories I had explained them why do we celebrate Dussehra and Diwali every year.

Giving them a fair idea of what’s good and evil. Recently, I realised the essence of introducing mythological characters at a young age. The fear of darkness always haunted my son, he never dared to enter a dark room. But with time things started changing, when I narrated him the stories of Lord Krishna and how he killed the demons with his magical powers. I kept telling him Krishna is with you and he would help you. Don’t fear. Somehow he could relate and now he is more confident to enter dark room, saying Krishna is there with me.

Apart from rendering fearlessness to kids these stories also has a funny side to it. Couple of weeks back when I chided my daughter on her mischievous act, I promptly received a befitting reply that Krishna too was naughty and little naughtiness is alright for kids to have.

I was completely taken aback and speechless for a moment.

That moment I was smiling from inside though I did not dare to show it on my face and was happy that she could relate stories and mythological characters.

But, today when we are talking about Virtual world and Artificial intelligence . Does Mythology holds any relevance to our present day living?

Or, is it just the stories of ancient times?

Today’s world thinks that these are the stories of the bygone era which is only for kids to read, to understand a few basics of our culture or to know the reason behind our festivities. But, mythology is much more beyond that.

What is Mythology?

As per Devdutt Pattnaik (Indian illustrator and Mythological expert ).

“Mythology is a map of the human mind. It helps you understand the world, life and culture. It is a subjective truth based on memory”.

And the best way to put forward mythology is not through serials or videos but by storytelling especially when a mother does it. She adds her own emotions, experience and dialogues to the narration.

Making it more relatable to the child.

Now, the question arises.

How mythology can help your child?

The general notion behind mythology is that they are just stories of a bygone era and hardly renders anything to the present-day living. But, I think it’s more relevant now than before as through mythology one can help kids in imbibing morals and good values. It will help to ignite the thought process of knowing, and understanding various emotions like devotion, selflessness, true love, dedication, sacrifice and many more aspects of human nature.

Mythology unlocks Imagination

Mythological stories give wings to a young mind’s imagination. Thinking beyond the box is the requisite for today’s generation kids. Every child is unique and so do their imagination which we often as parents kill or brush off thinking it to be silly. Giving tags like unrealistic approach or silly thoughts. Innovation always comes from imagination, to think beyond the box.

Pick up any mythological story, it has flying chariots, characters with magical powers, multiple incarnations and so on. Nothing is real but it definitely ignites the creative spark in young minds.

As the kids grow older they easily differentiate between myth and reality but this does not stop them from being creative in their own way..

You can also read Chanting Gayatri Mantra can make your child intelligent and conscious.

Brings them closer to our culture

Mythology is an integral part of our culture. Why rituals are followed in society and in the way how a community thinks and functions.

We celebrate Diwali by lighting lamps, diyas, making delicacies and spending good time with friends and family. But, do we care to tell our kids the reason behind the celebration? And help them to relate and connect more on the festival celebrated. Ramayan is an epic that can help children understand Ram’s story and its relevance to our culture. Culture is what defines our society, and what we stand for. Culture helps us to stay connected with our roots.

Helps them understand between Good and Evil

Last year, on Dussehra my Lil daughter questioned me, why are we burning Ravana? That moment I realized the importance of stories. I narrated the bad deeds of Ravana and how Ram killed him to not only free Sita but the entire humankind from his cruelties.

The mythological stories render a fair idea of good and evil at a very young age. Ego, lust, greediness, self-centredness all this leads to self-destruction and the best way to explain them is through stories.

It teaches them to respect women

We can have a healthy and progressive society only when both the genders respect each other. Our mythology is an ode to feminism.

Pick up any epic or famous mythological story the female characters play a powerful role. They have taken bold decisions and were not dependant on men. For young boys and girls, it’s important for them to expose to powerful women figures and teach them they are not subject to meekness or fragility. They can be equally fierce, bold and strong. Both the epics (Ramayana & Mahabharat) beautifully portrays how disrespect towards women can lead to wars and end of the mightiest man or kingdom.

Mythology helps us to understand the essence of co-existence in a respectful environment is essential for the mankind to thrive.

Helps in Character building

Good traits help in character building. But, then how can we help kids to develop good traits? There are two approaches to attain this.

As a parent we need to show those traits in our behaviour or else narrate stories that would help them to inculcate those traits.

Ethics, sticking to commitments, devotion, sacrifice, loyalty, truthfulness such traits could be understood by several powerful figures from mythological stories who were known for those traits.

Sravan kumar was known for his devotion towards his parents, Yudhistir for never telling a lie, Karna for his loyalty to his friend Duyodhna, Ekalavya for his dedication and respect for the teacher and the list is endless. Hindu mythological stories have lot to offer when it comes to character building.

In today’s fast paced world we hardly see those traits in a person. All we get to hear or witness is negative traits , diplomacy or cheating. These stories can help to build a progressive society that we all are dreaming off.

Five Mythological Books to start with your young one’s

1.Famous illustrated tales of Krishna

I introduced mythology to my twinnies with this book as little Krishna always fascinates young kids. It’s a well illustrated and coloured book that narrate stories right from his birth and continues with all important tales of his childhood. Till he killed his own uncle Kansa, at the the age of twelve.

Good read for kids of age – 3 -3.5 yrs +

2. Famous illustrated tales of Ramayana

Ramayana, is an epic that every child should read. This book beautifully portrays the morals and good values that Ram possessed and that gave him the status of not just king but the Lord of the Universe.

Good read for kids of age – 3- 3.5 + yrs

3. The Boys who fought by Devdutt Pattanaik

Devdutt Pattanaik has been an author who has symplified mythology not only for adults but kids too. He pens beautifully the stories from Mahabharata for young minds to understand and imbibe.

Good Read for kids of age 4+ yrs

4. The Gita for Children by Roopa Pai

With simple, but thought-provoking way the author has narrated the nuances of one the greatest conversations in Hindu Mythology. This book is a great read for all ages.

Good Read for kids of 7+ yrs

Mythological stories can do wonder when introduced at a tender age. As the mind of young children is unadulterated and pure. They are like clay that could be moulded easily. Good traits, morals and values could be introduced by telling them about strong figures in the mythological stories.

I find the relevance of mythology more today than before to create a better and more rational society.

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This post is part of the blog train hosted by @mummasaurus. Our host has written a beautiful post on Dealing with “Mom, I want to marry you” !

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68 thoughts on “Does Mythology help kids to be emotionally strong?

  1. Loved your post dear and I agree mythology has immense power to teach our kids good value and Sanskar. The book collection is looking amazing. Will check these books for sure.

    1. Do check out Devdutt Pattanaik’s book. His approach towards mythology is very practical.

  2. Good one. I get my kids to watch stories about Krishna so that they identify with the Hindi words but did not think about mythology and stuff… I should look into this.

    1. More than mythological figures its a good way of teaching few traits of human emotions , like dedication, truthfulness, true love, focus etc.

  3. Woow I had been seeing this practically and loved the idea of you sharing the books too on mythology. Happy that I have 2 of these and they definitely shape kids

    1. Thanks Arti for liking it. I personally feel so. Mythological stories can have great impact on kids.

  4. I share similar thoughts! To help them understand our culture these stories are an important part and it helps them differentiate between right and wrong.

  5. Your post is food for thought. I agree with your view as we all need roots that ground us and to what we turn to to learn from and seek answers.

  6. You are right! Mythology helps to be a balance our emotional thoughts and if we teach these lessons to our kuds, a kind of sanskaar build and they more focus on their deeds.

  7. Enjoyed reading your perspective. True Indian mythology has such amazing ancient tales, which are still relevant today, are entertaining, and can help imbibe some important morals and values in children.

  8. I totally agree that yes, mythology is really something which make kids more grounded and emotionally connected, you have really written this beautifully

  9. I often use mythological stories as bedtime stories for my kids. There’s nothing like them to teach values of relationships while also instilling them love and respect for our beliefs and culture. Will check out these books!

  10. We should tell our kids about the importance of all festivals we celebrate and also involve them in the rituals .. you have written so well .

  11. Letting your kids learn about mythology is really nice way to let them learn about our culture and connect with it my daughter loves to to learn about our religion from her grandparents and it’s really help them strengthening the bond

  12. I agree with you that one should definitely introduce the kids to our culture and mythology as it imparts positive aspects to tackle life problems. A great thought provoking post.

  13. This is such a lovely post, really like your views about introducing mythological stories to children. I have started telling some mythological stories to my son and he totally loves them. And, I am sure he’s learning some good things from the stories too.

    1. Thanks, Neha . Glad that you liked it and yes, mythology has strong impact on kids especially at tender age.

  14. Loved your post! As a generation who grew up watching mythological serials, it was only natural that I would try to introduce my kids to the same. They read ACK at present, but I will surely check out your recommendations as well. Thanks!

  15. Even I have grown up watching mythological shows. Also wrote a similar post on best mythological books for kids. Reading these books to kids indeed has immense benefits.

  16. So correctly put up in the post that Mythology does help kids to be emotionally strong. I feel if in young age the kids can associate with one of the other mythology character and then be more sensible adults of future…

  17. I really liked this post and your take on it. I second your thoughts that Mythology help kids in many ways which we don’t even know and I agree to all the pointer you have given. Thanks for sharing,

  18. my 5 yr old recently got very moved with Mahabharata and Krishna. He likes listening to stories about Krishna. I think they do enjoy the morals.

  19. my son watched a lot of Mahabharat and Krishna during his holidays and looks like he’s quite interested in the morals. our roots somewhere are quite important.

  20. I loved this post buddy and you gave me a new perspective to think. You are so right mythology has so much to teach out little ones

  21. I love reading mythological books to my child. Children usually are drawn towards it because of lovely illustrations. And that’s one of the ways to teach them life lessons. Thank you for this blog.

  22. lovely article! This reminds me of many an evening spent with my grand mother when she would tell me the story of Gods and Godesses and people from a long long time ago!
    Even today, I draw strength upon these myths, believing them to be retelling of reality 🙂
    Definitely, mythical stories help shape our thinking, personalities and perception of the world, and give kids a model to reference when taking action in life.

    1. Yes, Ishieta they do shape our personality and give us strength to deal with our problems in life.

  23. I agree that mythological stories that a child imbibes at a very young age go a long way in building his/her character. It is also a very easy way of instilling good qualities in children if narrated as stories. In modern days the importance of mythology is unfortunately being eroded.

    1. Yes, Jayaram the sole intent of writing this post was to emphasize on the importance of mythology in young minds and how that can help them to be emotionally strong from a tender age.

  24. I have heard from my mother how I used to get nightmares and one of the things that helped me was putting a photo of Shiv ji under my pillow. Mythology is such fertile land for storytelling.

  25. I have grown up in family that believed in mythology & its teachings & growing up it did bring me a sense of hope, belief , patience & differentiation between right & wrong at a very early stage in life.And i feel its even more crucial in current times.

    1. Yes, Vashi . I think relevance of mythology in current times is more to inculcate the right and wrong quite early in young minds.

  26. I’m of the views of Devdutt Pattnaik when it comes to comprehending mythology.

    True. Children are innately attracted to storytelling, whether it is receiving fables or mythology. And the power of mythology in shaping a child’s mental & emotional development along with his/her psyche is immense.

    Kids do gravitate towards understanding human values which are not just bound by religion & tradition, but in the process, also end up learning lessons that are relevant to the challenging life that lies ahead of them.

    Love your perception, Debi!

    1. Thanks, Ashvini. Glad that you liked it. I just tried penning my thoughts that i am trying in my own life and getting the results.

  27. I believe every story that has been told or written or narrated is to teach a lesson to people. The whole religion system is only built on the idea of telling people how to live.

  28. I could realte it so much. I really wanted to introduce my kids to our mythology but anyhow i couldnt spare time or probably didint know how to start. Your post really made up my mind and am sure to introduce to them.

    1. Thanks Sweta, for liking this post. I am so glad that it helped to change your mind and be firm in your thoughts. If you are not able to introduce books to them because of lack of time then can introduce few mythological web series. Or else if you could read to them nothing like it.

  29. This is an angle that I have never thought of ! Very well written and you understand a child well

  30. I am a big mythology fan as well and there are plenty of life skill highlights if only we took the time out to immerse ourselves in them.

  31. I remember hearing mythology stories from my granny and her reaction when my kids went gaga over hulk and all she called him was a green colored Bhim! Mythology is next level fantasy rooted in human values and life lessons

  32. I feel it definitely helps in character building. My son got so interested in Mahabharata and Krishna during the lockdown. He even learnt “yada yada hi dharmasya”

    1. Wow!! Tina that’s impressive. Geeta Shlokhas has its own mystic power that unfolds its charm in various stages of life.

  33. I truly belive in the power of Mythology. While I teach my girls about Sikhism, my husband ensures that he teaches them about hindu mythology. This plays a great role in raising kids who are emotionally strong.

    1. Ya, Preet. I too firmly believe and try to instill values in them so that they can fight with challenges in a better way.

  34. Hi Debidutta! This was a thought-provoking read! I agree that instilling good moral values, and knowing one’s roots and culture are essential for our children in this digital age. #MyFriendAlexa #TinaReads

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