Tuesday, November 20, 2018

You Suck As A Parent. Find Out Why & How Not To.

‘Parents Suck’ is a real bold statement. But it is true. Parenting and leadership expert Dr. Swati Lodha has proved it through her latest book ’54 Reasons Why Parents Suck and Phew!’ that parents suck in different ways. Fortunately, the hilarious book also tells us how not to suck. Co-authored by Swaraa, Swati’s daughter, it is written in the voice of a teenager who brings forth all the annoying biases, beliefs, and behaviours of Indian parents.


Out of the fifty four, we bring four reasons for our readers.

Obedience is the Password: Parents want children to obey them all the time because they think that they are always right. They love their authority as parents far more than they love their children as people.

They do not understand that half of the children obey them to maintain their sanity. Children obey to avoid the mess that disagreements would generate. They obey out of fear or in anticipation of approval or reward.

Author emphatically writes, “We stay loyal to you by staying loyal to your beliefs. We love you and hence stick to all that you teach. We win your attachment but we lose our individuality. We hold on to your opinions, your lessons because we want to hold on to you. If we try to discard some of your ideas, we feel that you will feel that we are diminishing our relationship.”

The solution offered is simple: 
Why is obedience and loyalty overrated in a parent–child relationship? How about learning to re-calibrate your illusion of control as we move forward? You consider disagreement as disrespect and a child disrespecting the holy parent is the ultimate sin. Disagreement is NOT disrespect. Can you guys get that?

Parents overvalue their own children: Every baker feels that his flour is the most fresh, light, and consistent. Each landlord feels that he is renting out the best maintained property in the best location.

Each parent feels the same towards their children because they have a sense of ownership and emotional investment. Children become more valued by the sheer virtue of belonging to their parents.

Parents are masters of showcasing what they or their children have achieved. They would judge their children objectively in private but create an amplified aura in public.

Authors suggest the solution beautifully to the problem of ‘overvaluing’ - Parents tend to be overconfident in their estimates of our future as they do not factor in uncertainties. A ‘pre-mortem’ will help wherein parents imagine a future failure and try to find its cause. It will reduce optimism and help parents prepare a backup plan.

Parents wish to spin complete narratives of success for us even when failure is always embedded in it. This overvaluation is scary and unrealistic. It gives us false hopes and unrealistic sense of self. I start to feel like Virat Kohli as soon as I pick the cricket bat.

How about taking an outside view—finding out real-life failure stories of those who treaded similar paths? How about equipping us with survival tools for future rather than Photoshopping our present selves?

Parents suffer from ‘hindsight bias’: All the parents love to remember themselves as exemplary individuals, in hindsight. They want their children to believe that they were ideal children who had tough parents and tougher times but they still survived, thanks to their grit, discipline and obedience.

Parents do not remember the facts that actually happened, they remember ‘flashbulbs memories’ which are flawed and products of reconstruction.
“Everyone makes mistakes and everyone remembers the mistakes committed by others. How about sharing the real slices of your lives with us along with the life stories of other friends and family?” is the solution offered by authors.

Parents have unlimited quirks: Authors talk about innumberable quirks and superstitions followed fanatically by parents.

Moms believe in ‘Zodiac signs’. I am not sure whether I am a carefree, straightforward person because I am often told that these are the traits of my zodiac sign or my zodiac sign is the cause of these traits in me.

Parents fear problems and love everyone and everything that claims to solve their problems. Parents give weird names to their children, alter their birth dates to save an admission year and what not.

A victim of parents’ quirkness shared that his mother did not let him buy a motorbike by his favourite brand – Yamaha – because she was uncomfortable by the word ‘Yama’ in it.

The book talks about fifty four of such reasons with a solution at the end of every chapter ‘how not to suck’.

To become a better parent, read the hilarious yet honest book www.bit.ly/54Reasonswhy 

The book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart
Reviews from other readers can be found at GoodReads
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