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Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Original Post:
Jun 15 2014 : The Times of India (Kochi)

On Father's Day, two dads with different fathering styles tell us why being a dad is the most important job in the world
7 PARENTING HACKS FOR A BUSY DAD Fatherhood is hard, and you are busy. You work to secure your child's future by earning enough money. But you realise deep inside that it's not enough to just earn money for your child.
You have to spend time with them ­ make them understand that you are not just an ATM machine, but someone they can look up to as a guide, and a friend ­ a real dad.As a new age parent, you are expected to participate actively in raising your child. You can't just leave it to your wife, can you? That sort of retrograde thinking is out. The fact is that your wife might also be working, or even if she is not, we know that taking care of the home is more than a full-time job. The fact is that equitable distribution of parenting duties is what separates us from Neanderthal mentalities. Engaging your child while reading the newspaper: You know the one thing you look forward to on a Sunday morning? Well two things really ­ your morning cuppa, and the newspaper. But the little tyke has other ideas. He wants you to read his favourite story to him. On a Sunday morning! I discovered a nice compromise. I read the newspaper to my daughter. Not the dismal, sad bits of course, but some of the articles that would be of interest. Sometimes I pick up an article about a new scientific discovery and read it to her. Sometimes I read to her from a travel section, with descriptions of beautiful destinations. The point is my newspaper reading time is converted into a great time spent with my daughter.
Watching a movie with your child while working: It's evening, and you have just come home after a tiring day. Worse still, you have brought work home. Your kid wants to watch that animated movie AGAIN with you. Well, I do both. It requires a bit of physical place setting. Sit a little behind your kid as he/she watches the movie. This way your child feels you are part of the experience, and you can work away at that Blackberry or laptop too. Don't worry about being caught. Once the movie starts, kids are too engrossed in it. Get your work done, and share an experience with your child at the same time.
Exercising with your child as a part of that busy schedule: Since you are a dad to a kid, you know that kids love going out. Anywhere. And therefore they are an excellent excuse for you to get some exercise. Have you ever wasted money on a gym membership? I have. Do you have a treadmill in your house that you dry towels on? I do. I take my child to the local park weekend mornings. Once she is there, she is so hap py running around on the grass and befriending other kids that she can pretty much be left alone while I take brisk walks around the jogging path, all the while keeping an eye on her. It really is a win-win for us.
Doing homework together while answering those emails: One of the best ways I have found to spend time with my kid is to sit with her and do homework together! What is important to me is that my daughter feels close to me when I sit next to her and help her out with her homework intermittently. Another way in which I can get some time to get my own work done is to give my daughter a set of tasks to be done in say, 30 minutes. While she is working on her tasks, I can work on mine. At the end of 30 minutes, I shut my computer and then we go through her work together and have a lot of fun. Again, both of us get what we want.
Sometimes, just ditch the work! There is no work in the world that really compares in value and a sense of accomplishment than the time you spend with your children. Unfortunately, our bloated sense of self-worth makes us feel that our companies will shut down if we don't write that email or complete that presentation. Nothing at work is so important that you have to sacrifice spending time with your children, even on a weekend. Relax, laugh, play with your child, and be rewarded with a lifetime of experiences that no job will ever be able to provide. Sometimes, the best parenting hack is just to be a parent.
Shantanu Bhattacharya is a father to an eight-year-old girl. Apart from working as a director of content design and development in a multinational, he also writes and blogs on being a dad. 7 CONFESSIONS OF A STAY-AT-HOME DAD Being a stay-at-home dad is far more taxing than I imagined, when I quit my job to begin caring for our kids. I'm tired almost all the time. Even after 14 years of practice, I am terrible at folding the laundry.
My heart is more open than it was before I was a stay-at-home parent. My family's struggles, victories and love affect me more deeply than they would have if I were away at a job.
I know that some men discount what I do and judge me, but it does not bother me.
I can't believe that I'm admitting this but it hurts my feelings when my family doesn't like what I cook for them.
I respect my wife's sacrifice as our breadwinner and I genuinely mourn the fact that my having this experience with our children means that she can not. I happily have put my personal goals aside and see raising our chil dren and helping them to grow into fine adults as my life's work, but sometimes, I daydream about what I'll do when they move out.
Nurturing kids is like giving and examination every day and while I don't always pass the test, I never stop trying.
Not giving up is the greatest gift a parent has to offer. Nothing brings me more joy than watching our children evolve.
Mothers are the centre of everything. They hold families together, make tough decisions and are a constant source of comfort and love. Being a stay-at-home dad taught me that.
Scott Benner is a stay-at-home parent to two children, since the past 14 years.
He is the author of Laundry Is Eternal: Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Dad, and is also a type I diabetes advocate since his daughter was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of two.