Being the cool dad he is, Abhik Prasad often plays the good cop at home and lets his son, Vihaan enjoy his childhood by letting him make his own choices. Read about his parenting journey here
"Our 7-year-old son, Vihaan and I share a special bond. We are more like buddies. The fact that he calls me by name might have something to do with it. Yes, to him, I am just ‘Abhik’. Some of you might find it strange, and for some, it might be a cultural shock, but in our home, this is the norm.
My parents initially had reservations about my son calling me by name instead of the usual ‘dad’ or ‘papa’. My mom once asked me with good intent, “Won’t you miss being called Papa or Dad by your own child?”. That got me thinking. So, I made one last attempt. I sat him down and explained that I would like it more if he called me dad or papa like the other kids. His innocent reply took me by surprise. “Sure, I can call you that, but then I won’t like it much, because if I call you Daddy you won’t be my friend anymore.” I ended that chapter then and there and was back to being called Abhik.
Once that issue was settled, the new topic of discussion was the length of his hair. My son developed a fancy for long hair and didn't want to cut it short. I told him, “It's your hair after all, and you can do whatever you like.” He is blessed with lovely hair too, so we went the unconventional route and let him keep his long hair. This went on for a few years and ultimately, he got tired of it. So, we got it trimmed, but only after getting the green signal from him.
It is nice to be a good cop, as I get less time to spend with my son at home. When it comes to actually raising our child, I will admit, most of the heavy lifting is done by my wife, Roma. However, I try to be the cool, hands-on dad as much as my work schedule permits.
When the pandemic started and we were all cooped up at home, my wife had to readjust her schedule and find ways to engage our son. And she did a good job. Other parents even complimented her for meaningfully engaging him during the lockdown. After the initial hiccups, the entire lockdown and pandemic period went by smoothly with all three of us following a routine of sorts, even while studying and working from home.
When school restarted after almost two years, my son was very happy as he could finally meet his friends. After dropping him off at school on the first day, I had a strange feeling. Of course, our home felt empty without his constant chatter, but both my wife and I felt a sense of relief that maybe the bad days were over. After ages, both of us could enjoy a cup of tea and some conversation without our son being around. Believe me, even though we all love our kids to the moon and back, parents need some ‘me time’ too without their kids. That day, we welcomed him home after school with so much more joy!”
- Abhik Prasad
(As told to Monali Bordoloi)
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