Raising a child is no easy task and it is evident even today. We talked with two parents who share some invaluable insight into raising their children in 2020. Ritu Mittal Mukherjee, mother of a 4 & ½ year old boy and Chitman Kaur, mother of 2 girls, 4 & ½ year old and 7 weeks old answer the most intriguing questions parents have in today’s age.
Raising A Son In 2020
1. How do you raise a child in a world where gender roles exist?
Gender roles do exist, we as parents ensure that these roles don’t become part of our child’s mindset. How? Simple, we as a couple are an #EqualParent couple. We do not carry out certain tasks because of our gender example: doing the dishes or taking care of the child in a party! Sabyasachi sees his dad take him home chores as willingly as his mom installs devices at home or his mom on work tours while his dad works from home. It is essential that a child sees respect, care, love & appreciation. With that, we as a family involve our son in everything we do, be it buying groceries, dusting, laundry, changing batteries of his toys so that there isn’t a gender line that differentiates. Your child is going to become what he sees you being.
2. How do you, as a parent, deal with bringing your child up in a world that is inherently competitive and driven by technology?
We adapted to technology very late in life. These kids have been born into tech. It is a way of life for them. So technology is very important in everyone’s life & overall development. Having said that, everything in moderation is good. With respect to competitive lives: it is here to stay. There is no denying it. Kids learn from what they observe and not what they are told. We as parents need to provide that culture where it is important to do our best, not give up, be healthy losers & win humbly. Yet given the world, know when you are right & the best.
3. How do you introduce the concept of ‘stranger danger’ to your kids amidst the close-knit Indian culture that lacks boundaries?
From day 1, keep talking, explaining. As the child grows, newer people enter their lives and you continue the conversation reminding them of what is allowed and what is not. Kids are smart, parents just need to have honest clear conversations consistently.
4. What’s the one parenting tip that is your mantra/motto?
Have loads of fun, learning happens along the way! Your child is observing you more than you realise so to have the child you want, be the person you need him to see!
Raising A Daughter In 2020
1. How do you, as a parent, deal with bringing your child up in a world that is inherently competitive and driven by technology?
Technology is not bad. Overuse of anything is “bad”. Given that I am the founder of a company that creates content for children, I understand the science behind how technology (read videos) is hindering a child’s growth. However, we cannot run away from technology.
To give you an example, the app HeyCloudy which I run is an “AUDIO” only app. It is screen-free yet has some amazing content for little children (3-7 years old) to listen to. It makes the life of parents easier and children are always learning. So technology is not bad, how and what we use needs to be chosen correctly.
2. How do you introduce the concept of ‘stranger danger’ to your kids amidst the close-knit Indian culture that lacks boundaries?
This is a very very very important topic. And for that, we have a story that we have created. The story is about a bear who loves to hug. It is an extremely positive way to make a child understand that they have the power to say NO to anyone. It is their body and they have the right to decide what they are or are not comfortable with.
3. What’s the one parenting tip that is your mantra/motto?
“Let them be”. I believe that my children have EVERYTHING deep inside them that will help them find their own destiny. I just need to be around so they can hold my hand when they need it.
“Happy parents result in happy families and positive upbringing”. I am also a firm believer that a parent should not forget “themselves”. We should not lose our ambitions and things that make us happy in this rollercoaster journey of parenting. Happy parents result in happy families and positive upbringing for our little ones and that is what each one of us eventually wants.
Remember those famous dialogues your mum would say? Here is a fun video remembering them to brighten your day.