Monday, March 25, 2013


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 tried and tested orthodox parenting style which clearly defines the parenting duties of each parent, the father and mother, and removes all role ambiguity in the matter of bringing up children.


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.

The father should be generally around as a source of amusement and joy. 

The father should play a supporting role, as a father figure. 

He must play with the baby, entertaining him or her, and be a source of happiness, fun and joy for the baby.

Mother Nature has designed that at these young ages, the baby biologically needs its mother’s physical affection (nurturing, breastfeeding, ablutions).

A small baby can do without the father, but cannot do without the mother. 

[However Metrosexual a man may get, to the best of my knowledge, a man cannot breastfeed his baby - only a mother can do that]

A small baby needs the mother physically, and, most importantly, the baby needs the 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.

The father supports, buttresses, reinforces and inspires a sense of discipline, security and confidence in the child.

At the same time, the mother plays a complementing 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.

I am of the view that divorce of parents may adversely affect the all-round development of children. While a mother plays a prominent role in inculcating emotional balance, a father is the one who shapes personality and inculcates discipline.

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. Then it is best to give advice only when it is asked for.

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


Let me 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, the baby is not only mine — the baby is also half yours.”

Nasrudin sleepily remarked, “Yes, half of the baby is yours and half of the baby is mine. You can do what you like and stop your half from crying if you want to, but as far as I am concerned, I choose to let my half continue to cry.”

Moral of the Story: Too much “shared parenting” leads to confused upbringing

Wishing all Parents and would-be Parents  - a very Happy Unambiguous Parenting.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2013
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 and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) 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 an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and 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  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve 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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