Being a parent can be hard – if we had a penny for every time we wished our parental problems away, we’d all be billionaires. Fret not, as here to help with the seemingly impossible situation is paediatrician Anupam Sibal’s first non-medical book Is Your Child Ready to Face The World?
“I have been practising as a paediatrician for 19 years and I have seen that society has undergone a major change. We try to use our parents’ parenting methods on our children without realising that that style won’t work anymore. I realised then that this relationship needs assistance and so I penned down everything that I have learnt in these years,” says Sibal.
The book comprises of 18 virtues that parents should try and develop in their child, and 50 Dos and Don’ts, all accompanied by examples. Citing an incident from his own life, Sibal talks of the time when his son demanded an iPhone. He says, “That day, I talked to him about the highs and lows of Steve Jobs’ life and determination as a virtue.” He goes on to explain, “Children don’t like to be sermonized. When you talk to them about something, let them feel it is their discussion and they’re driving it. Start talking about a topic and then dip into it gradually.”
Of some other tips that the doctor imparts, one is to let your child be. “So many people say to me ‘ye toh humara naam roshan karega.’ But why will he do that? Woh apna naam roshan karega, aapka kyu? I’ve met parents who send their 12-year-olds to IIT coaching classes! At 12, how do you know he or she wants to be an engineer? Let them do what they want to do.”
Ask him why he feels parental issues have started cropping up and he lists nuclear families as one of the reasons. “Parenting is a tough job, a lifelong assignment that needs constant adaptation. In joint family culture, kids would have cousins to play with. But now we live in nuclear families where both parents are working. Technology has started taking over the things that parents used to do. As Mr Bachchan has said in the foreword, once you have kids, your needs are subservient to theirs.”
Whether or not the book solves parents’ daily predicaments remains to be seen, but it will definitely intrigue them.