Effective Parenting: A book full of anecdotes, quotes, poems and short stories and what makes it interesting is it comes from a father rather than a mother. A Review by Bhaskar Parichha.
Parenting is a tough job. And new-age parenting is even tougher. Modern parenting differs from regular parenting in very many different ways. Contemporary Parenting includes the important core values and principles that have been handed down by good parents for generations and at the same time addressing new concerns that have recently developed: safe internet use, bullying, non-traditional family structures, et al. This is true of India where the there is a rapid change of community attitudes, cultural influences and societal mores.
Studies world over have identified four major parenting styles: permissive, authoritarian, authoritative, and hands-off. Of these styles, child development experts have found that the authoritative parenting style is the most successful in raising children who are both academically strong and emotionally stable.
Can, therefore, authoritative parenting be same as effective parenting? Ramendra Kumar has the answer to this. ‘Effective Parenting: A New Paradigm’ suggests five pillars of effective parenting namely: sharing, caring, fun and joy, healthy living and invaluable values. The book, as the blurb says, is based on ideas ‘culled from the author’s own experiences as a child from a broken home, his observations as a writer for children and his struggles as a parent.’
What makes the book interesting is it comes from a father rather than a mother. The author agrees that the frame work he offers is only suggestive in nature and possibly will serve the reader as ‘unobtrusive guide as one journeys across the tough terrain of parenting.’ The book is a hands-on approach to parenting and the author believes that it can ‘morph a good parent to into the best parent.’ This is an unusual book in the sense that it is unstructured and there is a free flow of words, ideas and experiences.
A book full of anecdotes, quotes, poems and short stories has a foreword by Dr. Anupam Thakur who is a faculty member at University of Toronto and a child psychiatrist himself. Effective Parenting has been well received in India and has gone for a reprint.
Ramendra Kumar is a national award winning author with two dozen books that are mostly aimed at youngsters. His books have been translated into a few foreign languages and have been recommended as supplementary readers in the CBSE curriculum.
Modern parenting isn’t a “one size fits all” recipe, but a task that is as diverse as the way two separate people take different routes to get to the same destination. As Mr Kumar puts it, to be effective, the parent today has to be a Memory-Maker, a Juggler, a Humor Promoter, a Sports catalyst and a Guru of Values.
Using effective discipline strategies that work with modern kids, striking a balance between occupation and family time, deriving contentment from the family, surviving during periods of crises and teaching smart-n-safe technology use to kids remain the biggest challenges of modern parenting.
Effective Parenting… is an indispensable book for all fathers on tenterhooks. Kumar writes honestly and earnestly. His sense of humor will surely bring a huge relief to hassled parents.
(This review was first published in Odisha.live )
By Ramendra Kumar
Cover photo: UK Pal
Published by Learning And Creativity