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The Teen Connect


This thrill, this connect, I have been reliving over and over again.

My daughter Ankita wanted to do a project but  kept dithering. “Why don’t you  male an A/V  on the Maasai people of East Africa?” I suggested. She jumped at the idea. And from then on we got together. She did the   video shooting (no one in the house trusts me with a video camera) and I gave her tips on direction and  interviews. We  finalised the script on the return flight. Back at home we had to enlist the help of Aniket for editing. And for the first time I saw the “bossy” sister and the “pestilential” brother working together for more than 12 hours  each day – five days in a row, without getting at each other’s throats. It was almost heaven.

What I am trying to get at is that when mutual passion becomes The Connect it is perfect. And to achieve this, one need not go to Kenya or Tanzania, one need not even invest in expensive gadgets. What one has to do is to search for the passion connect and keep reinforcing it.

The passion connect may be related to movies, sports, hobbies  et al. All you need is to find a common ground and then bond as best as you can.

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Ramendra Kumar (Ramen) is an award-winning writer for children and young adults with 27 books to his name. He also dabbles in satire, poetry, fiction and travelogues. His writings have been translated into several Indian and foreign languages and showcased in many text books and anthologies. Ramen is a much sought after inspirational speaker and storyteller. An Engineer and an MBA, Ramen is working as Chief of Communications, Rourkela Steel Plant, Odisha. You can visit Ramen's website www.ramendra.in


9 thoughts on “The Teen Connect

  1. Sudha Kumar

    Great post Ramen and I can so relate to it- with a teen aged daughter and a 22 year old son (who was once a teen!). As parents we need to quickly and naturally transition from the ‘instructional’ mode to being a friend and share interests as our children graduate to teenage. With my daughter for instance it is the love for cooking and baking and with my son it is a passion for cricket, and interest in current affairs. Though both my children do not even live in India anymore, these common interests have helped forge a bond (enabled by the myriad technology options) and strengthen our relationship!

    I also find that being open to taking their opinion on issues when we take decisions ( concerning us) is also a great way to stay connected.

    Reply
    1. Ramendra Kumar

      Thanks a ton, Sudha. Glad you liked it. My children too have flown the nest and live in Mumbai. We are on touch on the phone and Whatsápp. Invariably whenever there is a slight disconnect it is the common threads that bind us which restore the status quo, asap. Over the years I have realised that what connects us the most is a zany, irreverent sense of humour……

      Reply
  2. Jayanthi

    True that – teenagers need to be handled with care. You don’t want to damage their budding personality and yet don’t want them to go astray – many battles are fought before we hit that fine balance. I also have two teenagers at home and we have managed to find some common areas to discuss that are non-controversial. Sports, technology, TV sitcoms etc. – are a great way to bond and comfort your teenager that all is not war.

    Reply
  3. Ramendra Kumar

    Hi Sudha & Jayanthi,

    Another great way of connecting with your teenage Tsunamis :) is by inviting them to mentor you. I am technologically challenged and whenever I approach my son to bail me out of the technical whirlpool he gladly jumps in. And for those few moments, minutes or hours the Dad – Son synergy is near perfect.

    Reply
  4. Sia

    The days of the Authoritative father are past. the old adage holds true – when your son starts fitting into your shoes, it is time to treat him as a friend.

    Reply
  5. Sudha Kumar

    Ramen, yes, am with you on getting tech mentoring from the teens- it levels the playing field for sure! Happens with my daughter all the time in my case!

    Reply
  6. Vishakha

    Ramen, thanks for the suggestion. What’s your take if it’s single parenting . Esp mom- son thing ; would love to read your opinion.

    Reply
    1. Kritika Srinivasan

      Hello Vishakha

      Just wanted to let you know that the July issue of our magazine will carry an article on Single Parenting – the unique challenges, tips on coping from single parents, family counsellors, etc. Do check that out if you are interested in this topic. Else, if you have a specific query, you can send us an email at editor@parentedge.in and we will have an expert in the field respond to you. Hope this helps!

      Reply
  7. Ramendra Kumar

    I am not an expert on single parenting but yes, I can take inspiration from my dad. He was a single parent since I was 14. He never, ever tried to replace my mum. Instead he made every effort to become a better father. He believed in the currency of trust and there were no secrets between us. He never made any attempt to become a super dad or hide his frailties. I had written a poem for him which I hope will provide an answer to your question.
    MY HERO

    When I was five
    My father was the greatest,
    He was my Hero
    Better than the best.

    My best friend was he
    When I was ten,
    Someone to love and trust
    And have lots of fun.

    The kite that wouldn’t fly
    The boat that refused to sail,
    Every test my Hero passed
    Not once did he fail.

    Of love and togetherness
    We shared many a moment,
    His future he neglected
    But never even once my present.

    He regarded quality time
    His most precious gift,
    Even if it meant
    Giving his career a bit of short shrift.

    When I was twenty
    He suddenly became a stranger,
    I was Mister Know-All
    And the cool, lonely ‘ranger’.

    I thought he was a failure
    Who had achieved nothing in life
    Neither wealth, nor status nor position
    He was merely a father to his son, a husband to his wife.

    When he should have been climbing the ladder
    He wasted his time on the family,
    Instead of being busy in meetings
    He was tending my hurting knee.

    I envied my friend his father’s success
    And felt very small,
    How I wished my father too was a Chairman
    So that I could strut proud and tall.

    One day my friend saw my album
    Of the time when I was nearly ten,
    In it were all the memories
    The love, the joy, the fun.

    As he scanned the snaps
    His face grew long and sad,
    “I wish we could trade places
    And I could have such a loving Dad.”

    “I have everything,” my friend said,
    “That money and status can buy
    Yet in my album
    There is no photo of Dad and I.”

    “While I was growing up
    My Dad too was busy growing,
    And in my stock of photos
    There is not a single one worth showing.”

    “You have so many memories to treasure
    While I have none,
    Though I may have a swanky car and a big house
    I have lost a childhood of love and fun.”

    As my friend left
    I had tears in my eyes,
    How selfish and mean I had been
    He made me realize.

    I went to my father
    A tired and crumpled man
    I told him, “I am sorry,
    But I love you more than anyone ever can.”

    As he took me in his arms
    And both of us began to cry,
    He was once again my Hero
    And I only five.

    – RAMENDRA KUMAR

    Reply

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