New Delhi, June 20 (IANS) Bollywood’s celebrity daddies like Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Riteish Deshmukh and Akshay Kumar often share photographs of snuggling, cuddling, cycling or walking with their children. Experts say doting is fine, but also shoulder the mother in baby care as it helps in the right growth of a child.
A 2014 survey, commissioned by Himalaya Baby Care, on 298 fathers and 311 mothers from across Mumbai and Bangalore, indicates that 63 percent of Indian fathers are actively involved in keeping up with doctor and vaccination appointments.
But when it comes to taking care of their babies in the absence of the mother, 70 percent of the fathers do not feel confident enough to shoulder this responsibility.
In fact, while 44 percent of the mothers surveyed found the fathers to be very involved while bathing and feeding the baby, the fathers on the other hand felt nervous about not “doing it the right way”.
Actor Imran Khan, who has one-year-old daughter Imara, says the priorities of a man changes after fatherhood.
“Once you become a parent, so many of our priorities get realigned in life. You start to realise that there are so many things that you used to earlier care about are completely unimportant now. Everything becomes about your relationship, your child and about your responsibilities towards your family,” Imran told IANS.
According to the research findings, fathers these days “tend to do too much sometimes in all thewrong areas and too little when it comes to things that really matter”.
What would help is to spend “quality time” with the child instead of “spending money for acquiring things for the child”; and send the right, not wrong message — for example, if you try to shirk responsibility, you’re teaching the child to do just that.
Also, shared parenting needs to be the order of the day, instead of dismissing most responsibilities as that of the mother.
“Both parents must be equally involved,” Samir Parikh, chief, Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Hospital, told IANS.
Parikh advised that as a parent, “you don’t have to be only a doting person or only an authoritative person. You have to create the right balance”.
Also, as a father, one plays a very important role in impacting a child.
“What is the father doing at home… how much is he drinking… I have met many such children, who have abusive fathers, and those very kids become the same,” Sanju Gambhir, child psychologist, Primus Hospital, told IANS.
So, be aware and careful, dear daddies!
(Kishori Sud can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)