Ramendra Kumar is a national award winning author with 25 books to his name. Ramen’s work has been published in several Indian and foreign languages and six of his books have been recommended as supplementary readers by CBSE, India. His stories have found a place in text books and anthologies published across the world, including the popular Chicken Soup for the Soul series. This blog is an excerpt from his recently published parenting book, “Effective Parenting: A New Paradigm”.
How do you connect with a teen who has a myriad attractions vying for her attention and distractions leading to a dissonance in the real as well as the virtual world?
The best way is by creating a connect based not on authority but on mutual passion. For me and my son, Aniket, the connect is cricket. While I am fond of the game he is obsessed with it. With him in the terrible teens and me in the frenetic forties our house has often resembled a mini kurukshetra. Both of us realised that one common ground of confluence, one common space sans conflict is cricket. Now often after a fight a truce is called with me drawing Aniket’s attention to the latest imbroglio in Pakistanti cricket or he pointing out what makes Dravid (his icon) a superior batsmen as compared to Tendulkar (my idol). We have our disagreements here too. But these are mild skirmishes when compared to almost a full combat on other issues.
When Aniket is not mesmerised by the grace of a square cut or the power of a pull, he is held in thrall by the elegance of the antelope and the majesty of the lion. He is crazy about wild life and so am I.
Last year he came down with viral fever and I was given the job of ‘baby’ sitting him for three days. A friend of mine had gone for an African Safari and he sent me the snaps of his tour.
“Papa, these photos looks awesome. Can’t we make a trip too?”
To humour him I nodded my head.
Well, Aniket forgot about his fever and went about planning the entire trip. By the time his ‘papa’ –sitting sojourn had ended he had chalked out the detailed itinerary, the costing and finalised the tour operator – all on the net.
Since all of us are wild about wild animals we eventually made the trip. I got Aniket a Nikon camera and organised some hands on training. The trip went off like a breeze and Aniket got some mind-blowing shots. After coming back I wrote a couple of travelogues and sent them for publication to two top of the line publications, along with Aniket’s photographs. You can imagine our thrill when the articles were accepted and subsequently published.