Being a parent is by far the best role one can play. Even high-flying achievers and celebrities will agree with that. No matter how dedicated you are to your career and how much you accomplish, nothing can prepare you for the challenges of parenting. So, let’s hear from celebrities from various fields how they approach parenting.
As far as my parenting goes, I never force anything on my son. When it came to his higher education, he wanted to go abroad, whereas I always believed that we can be successful staying in India. In fact, I feel it is our duty to give back to our country which has provided us with the educational opportunities. However, we went on a tour to the US and visited a few universities. On our way back, my son told me that he would like to settle in India and that he could go to the US once in a while as a visitor. So, you see, even though my intention was to make my son stay rooted in our traditions and culture, I didn’t force it on him.
- Padma Shri Dr Mylswamy Annadurai, Scientist and Director of ISRO Satellite Centre
As a parent of twin teens, I follow an open-door policy. I give them due respect and encourage them to explore. With me, they know they’ll get a fair verdict and, therefore, don’t feel the need to hide anything from me. My message to them is, find your passion and chase what you love! For, if you do so, you will not have to ‘work’ for a single day in your life. And that’s true bliss!
- Atul Kasbekar, Celebrity photographer and producer
I could say that I am a very easy-going parent but then there is a dichotomy. I am a stickler for discipline and ill-mannered children get my goat. I like manners – it sets the platform for everything else in life, I believe. My children have been brought up in the same way. Yet, I share a rapport with them whereby they can come and tell me what they feel and be assured of a rational, yet warm reply.
- Boman Irani, Film and theatre actor, voice artist and photographer
While Disha was at a school in Panchgani, life was about driving to and fro to meet her and celebrate the special moments with her. When she became an adolescent, it was easier for my wife to deal with her. We have been very frank when talking to each other and she stepped in to take care of the teen troubles. About three years ago, I realised that Disha needed her space; so, I moved out. We now have independent homes. As a parent, you keep nagging. For instance, I would constantly keep telling her to watch her weight. Sometimes she would hate that, sometimes she would rebel. But now, she has stuck to a diet and is taking care of her health. Any change has to come from within. This is why I have always wanted her to develop as an independent person… We are good friends. We share each other’s problems…I have never talked her down, except that occasional ‘I-don’t-like-this-dress’.
- Prakash Jha, Film producer, actor and director
I consider parenting a marathon; it starts from the day your child is born and continues for the rest of your life. Even though our daughter’s environment is radically different from my own childhood, I think some of the attitudes and habits that I picked up from my parents continue to be good even today. My parents gave me a lot more freedom and independence than I give to our daughter, something I’m still working on to find a balance. Obviously, we have a lot more access to resources and opportunities than my parents did. So, it's very tempting to fill her time with ‘useful’ activities, but I’m mindful of not completely taking over her life and directing her how to spend each minute of her own life. We are very blessed that she’s obedient and mostly does what we ask her to do, but I hope we don’t take it too far and stunt her personal growth.
- Cottalango Leon, Winner of the 2016 Academy Award for Scientific and Technical Achievement
My wife was an extraordinary Tiger Mom who, incidentally, wasn’t the fierce Tiger Mom. She was a very compassionate and caring Tiger Mom. I was neither strict nor too lenient, but for me, my kids have been my best production (bursts into laughter). I always wanted my kids to enjoy every moment. They are very good kids and are all-rounders, which is great.
- Siddhartha Basu, Television producer-director and quiz show host