Monday, July 01, 2013

The 21st century father

It feels different to be a father. But it is a whole lot different to be a father in the 21st Century, specially in India. The fatherhood of our generation is remarkably different from that of our father's or grandfather's. There are many aspects of this state that were unheard of in earlier times.
We live in a far open and socially volatile environment now. We need to make constant decisions, break the stereotypes and set new rules at a faster pace. As if it was not difficult enough to do this for self, we also need to do this for our kids now. What the child should eat, how much of TV is ok, what kind of friends is one allowed to have, should we communicate in mother tongue etc. I could write pages about each of these, may be later. But these decisions put us in a spot every now and then.
Secondly, we live in an era of gender equality. The lady and the man of the house share the responsibilities when it comes to household and the kids. This increases the dependence of the children on their father. The father is as much needed when the child is sick. However, our society seems to be having issues at coming to terms with this arrangement. The carer's leave may be a provision in many companies today but you should see the look on your manager's face when you tell him ' I can't come today because my son is not well'. Or try telling your friends that you can't come for a drink because it's your turn to look after the kids today.

It will be some time before we come to terms...

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