Often when I interview people for an article, a parent will ask me – ‘why do I need to read a parenting magazine?’ or ‘what can a magazine tell me that I don’t already know?’ or even ‘parenting is something I do by instinct – why should a magazine tell me what to do?’.
In some sense, it is true, isn’t it? Our parents did not read parenting magazines, or browse the Net for information, or attend parenting workshops – they still managed to bring us up ok.
But wait – our parents had another source of information and support that is denied to most of us today – the benefit of an extended family – grandparents, uncles and aunts and cousins who were ready with advice and tips from how to breast-feed a baby to what career your child should consider. In shrinking nuclear families that role has been taken over by magazines and the Internet.
Secondly, our parents lived in a world without much choice – kids went to the neighbourhood school, probably learnt music or dance and managed to complete their education and then took traditional career paths – medicine, engineering, Arts, etc. They did not hve to contend with IB or CBSE, Abacus and vocabulary lessons, tennis or karate. I am not even going to get into the range of career options available today! With the bewildering array of choices in front of us, from which diaper to is the best to which college to apply to for which course, we are forced to depend on advice and reviews to make sense of all our options.
Thirdly, our parents did not read books on seven habits of effective managers or magazine articles on interior decoration or browse the Net to look up what sickness a cold, cough and peculiar rash indicates. But, we do all that and more; our generation is information-hungry. We base the smallest of decisions on information, and support and validate our choices with reams of data from multiple sources. We actively look out for tips on how to get rid of dark circles – why would we be derisive about someone who looks for information on the so much more important area of parenting?! We live in the age of information, so how much ever we would like to believe that parenting should be driven by instinct, we cannot escape the fact that our decisions need to be based on information. And a good parenting magazine (like ours :)) will bring that information to your doorstep (or fingertips) – information based on expert insights, proven parenting practices and fresh ideas from around the world.