On Father’s Day, we tell you how to balance family and work life to get the best of both worlds
Published : 17 Jun 2018, 10:54:44
Father’s Day is for celebrating the fatherhood and the positive influence which fathers have brought in our lives.
There are different things you might remember your father. It could be that time when he taught you to play cricket, or when he scolded you but then made it up by taking you out for an ice cream later!
With changing times, fathers are starting to play a more important role in children’s lives, and we spoke to a few dads who talk about how they manage a hectic work life and make time for their kids.
“Eight years back the birth of my daughter saw her take over the main star cast in my life and I moved on to a supporting role,” says Jiggy George, founder, Dream Theatre and managing director, Mojostar.
“This was natural and seamless. The fact, that I had transitioned at the same time from a high-level corporate job to my own startup entrepreneurship helped in terms of flexibility of time. From day 1, I was hands-on and did everything voluntarily from diaper changes, bathing, burping and clowning around. We made a conscious decision to not seek any help from support staff or family and so were completely invested in our baby’s life,” he said.
George says that they found and nurtured common interests, music being top of the charts. He strums the guitar while his daughter sings, and they watch music videos and cartoons together. There is a lot of wordplay, re-reading Harry Potter, answering curious questions and also discussing her sometimes insightful and curveball observations.
Another important habit that George practises is marking his calendar so that he attends every landmark and important occasion in her school life.
Nikhil Kapur, founder and managing director at Atmantan, has a list of things he feels working fathers should keep in mind so that they can balance both office and spending time with their children.
1. Don’t be an absent dad. You need to allocate time to your kids and then defend this time as family work time.
2. Our children will always love us no matter what; but if you want to have that deeper connect with your kids, then you need to be around for the small and big things in their lives. It can be homework, play dates, watching a movie, discussing a book that they read, etc… all this makes us understand our kids better. Like if they are going through a difficult time, it helps them discuss this with you when you take the time to connect with them and you also get a chance to clear their understanding, give them advice different from what they may hear from their friends or peers.
3. Basically be mindful when you are with them. This is a beautiful tip that I picked up at a workshop for parents, and it works brilliantly. When our kids are with us, we need to cut out all the other clutter in our mind and only listen to our kids at that moment. The voice of kids shouldn’t become a distant background noise... even if we spend 15 minutes with them, those 15 minutes should only belong to them. You will be surprised at the quality of interaction both the child and you experience when you start focusing your attention on your child.
4. Create a free speech atmosphere at home. Time is a scarce commodity and there are travel days/hectic schedules… Hence, we must let kids know that they can say how they feel at any time and come to us with any issue that’s troubling them at any time too! If the child doesn’t feel verbally suppressed, I have seen them become less suppressed in other aspects of their life as well.
5. Play sports. This is so important and on so many levels too, e.g. physical and mental fitness, camaraderie, problem solving and even leadership skills.
6. Be a part of their life the way you want them to be a part of yours. We expect our children to come to office picnics, wish our colleagues or even join us on work family dinners sometimes. Then let’s start reciprocating with something as simple as reading their favourite stories, watching the movies they love, or even researching the characters they idolise (trust me, this many-a-times is the toughest bit to grasp for me)… when we see what they see, then we truly become a part of their life.
7. Laugh with your kids. Often, I use humour with my son when I tell him stories or when I goof up getting home on time or even when plans go astray. This always helps defuse a situation, and sometimes even drive a point home in a more palatable way.-Hindustantimes