Kids in their teens are difficult. As a father how would you advise parents to deal with this phase?
I have about five years of teenage parenting experience. During which I have realized teenagers don’t like being asked, told or talked to, so be silent in front of them, unless they start a conversation. I believe in speaking to them only when they want to be spoken to.
But of course there are some issues that need to be addressed like friendship, life, studies, etc., so my advice is to try and make the conversation a bit fun and playful. Play it on the back foot. Tell them ‘You are doing this, I know this is not my place, you know everything, but I don’t, so please explain it to me.’
Parenting seems to have become such a stressful exercise…
Parents should not worry too much about how their kids will turn out to be. Remember how stupid you were as a kid. In my case I was a fool and I turned out fine. Also there is no point in impinging your ideas on the kid—doctor baan jayo, actor baan jayo. If you have been a good role model perhaps they will follow your profession. If they don’t, that is fine.
Till when were you hands-on with your kids’ studies? And as a star are you entitled to skip the school PTA meetings?
I taught them till class 8 as I enjoy the process of acquiring knowledge. After that I lost what they were doing. I have attended every PTA meeting, except one. Sachin Tendulkar and I wait outside the class like any other parent if we are late. The rules in fact, are even stricter for us.
Do you make a definite effort to teach them about history, politics, culture? Do they get restless with the process?
I have a nice way of talking. I tell them stories in the night. I don’t force the conversation. For instance the other day we talked about Islam and the world. It is a very serious subject. They asked me what was happening in Syria. So I explained it to them. They like to give me a hearing sometimes.
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