Thursday, December 15, 2011


Now-a-days there seems to be a lot of role ambiguity about the roles of the mother and father in parenting and bringing up their children. Here is a parenting style which clearly defines the duties of each parent, the father and mother, and removes all role ambiguity.
Read on and tell us your views...


My late father-in-law was a wonderful man, a cherished mentor to me, and I pray that may his soul rest in peace.

He once told me, I think just after my wedding, a time tested age-old three-stage parenting theory for bringing up children.


From birth till a child is five years old, the mother should pay maximum attention to nurturing the child, in fact, the baby should be under the full care of its mother, and the father should be generally around as a source of amusement and joy, playing with the baby, entertaining him or her, fostering, as a father figure in a supporting role, since as designed by mother nature, at these young ages, the baby biologically needs its mother’s physical affection (nurturing, breastfeeding, ablutions) and mother’s emotional love the most.


Between 5 to 12 years of age the father should play a vital enriching role in the child’s life, supporting, buttressing, reinforcing and inspiring a sense of security and confidence, though the mother still plays the major role as the more loving and principal parent.


It is only after the child becomes 12 years old that the father begins to play an increasing major role in the child’s development. Now the father must take charge as the principal parent while the mother recedes into the background (playing the supporting role as the father did in Stage 1). As children become teenagers they require firm handling (especially boys) and inculcation of discipline and a sense of responsibility. 
Meanwhile, in case there are younger children, the mother will be busy performing the cardinal role as principal parent looking after the younger children who are in Stages 1 and 2 of their lives.

In case you are a single parent then you will have to perform both the roles in all the parenting stages. However this may prove difficult. That is why it is not advisable to divorce or separate if you have children as divorce of parents may adversely affect the all-round development of children.

A parent is like a trustee. So once your children become adults and start earning their living and fly off from your "nest", you have to just let go and observe your "birds" fly high in the sky, and give advice only when it is asked for.

Dear Reader, do you agree with this conservative three stage parenting paradigm?

I'll end on a lighter note. Now-a-days, in contrast to the parenting theory enunciated above, modern couples talk of shared parenting

Well here is a Mulla Nasrudin Story on the art of shared parenting:

Late one night, Nasrudin’s baby started crying. 

Nasrudin’s wife turned to him and said, “Husband, go take care of the baby. After all, he is not only mine — he is also half yours.”

Nasrudin sleepily remarked, “You can go stop your half from crying if you want, but I choose to let my half continue to cry.”

Here is wishing all Parents and would-be Parents a very Happy Parenting.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2011
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories, creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional research papers in journals and edited in-house journals for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for almost 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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Pratibha said...

And why can't the mother manage the 'firm handling', 'inculcating discipline blah..blah..part? Why does she have to fade in the background? Specially when the child starts to understand the relevance of friendship, companioship..she has to cease to become the principal parent..why??

Also,do you seriously believe a divorce would affect childern adversely while a toxic/dysfunctional relationship , where the spouse is not a good influence, won't?
Please give the kids credit for some intelligence.

Vikram Waman Karve said...

@ Pratibha - Thanks for your comments. The article expresses a "conservative" view - an old fashioned model of parenting. Well, roles may be reversed but maybe it is not advisable to too much against nature.
About divorce - it does affect kids, no doubt about it, since it is a question of emotions and not intelligence. Why not make efforts to improve a "toxic" relationship rather than breakup?

Pratibha said...

Hi Vikram, I agree when you say these are old fashioned techniques. Don't you think that since times are changing so our lifestyles are changing hence roles within the family are evolving. I mean we now live a civilized life, adorn clothes (infact kill quite a few insects/animals to make facric), eat cooked/processed food..blah..blah..
so if that does not qualify as going against nature and is looked as evolution then why are we trying to stick to traditional parenting roles? I think it is because of convenience. I mean comeon the woman of the house is now a career woman but is expected to put her career at the back burner to bring up the child, isn't the baby a responsibility of both parents? No but we still insist on sticking to mother nature's rules..
Also, I totally agree one must work on marriage before giving up and I genuinely feel that most people do try to make it work till the last for the family, children, societal pressure etc. However, if it is not working out the wise choose to seperate and try to give the children involved a healthy environment rather than keeping them in an unhappy home. Only the insecure or scared lot stick it out but generally are unable to give the kids a healthy home environment.

Vikram Waman Karve said...

@ Pratibha - Of course times are changing and we must change our views too. Maybe it would be good to keep some "conservative" views in the back of your minds too!
You are also absolutely right that it is most important that children must have an healthy home environment and must feel SECURE as a feeling of insecurity at a young age can have life-long ramifications.
Thanks for your views which have added value to the blog