Book Reviews - The Art Of Parenting
by Jamuna Rangachari
Roots and Wings, Author: Raksha Bharadia, Published By: Rupa and Co, Pages: 396 pages, Rs 295
Just because I was born a few decades before my children, it does not mean I am wiser than they are on every account….," says Javed Akhtar in the section on Creativity. This is just one of the many insights gleaned from this book, filled as it is with researched material and tips on nurturing creativity, social skills, sensitivity to nature, reading, sports, self-esteem and life skills.
The chief purpose of the book is to bring home the fact that while most parents do their utmost to facilitate the 'best' in their children, many children today struggle with low self-esteem, anxiety, and packed-schedules leading to burn-outs, stress, loneliness, boredom, obesity, depression, and other issues. Why does this happen? The author points to parental expectation, which are often so loaded that the natural endowments, interests and strengths of the child are ignored, or even stifled. The omnipresent fear, 'Will my child carve a successful and happy life in this fast-paced, over-competitive global world?' influences and shapes most parenting strategies, with parents transferring all their anxieties to their children.
Fortunately, the book does not just sound a warning but gives practical tips and suggestions on how to provide a congenial environment for learning and growth and shares the experiences of many parents who have been able to do so. One minor failing, which the author could redress in her future work, is that most of the examples are from the upper strata of society. One wishes there were insights from all sections of society, thus bringing in the universality of the issues children face.