SKParenting Sizzlers with Shailaja Vishwanath
Name: Shailaja Vishwanath
Designation: Blogger, Writer & Editor
Blog: Diary of a Doting Mom
Parent to: Gy, 11-year-old (I do not use her real name for reasons of privacy)
Family details: I live in Bangalore, India with my husband and daughter. I work as a senior editor with a parenting website and also run two of my own blogs, one on parenting and the other on creative writing and writing tips.
Background (what your usual life is like, in brief): My life revolves around the home, work, personal health, my daughter and my books. In my spare time, I love to sing and swim (not at the same time, though!)
SKP Q1. How do you split parenting duties?
Shailaja: As far as we are concerned, parenting is a shared responsibility. I am fortunate to be married to someone who believes in women empowerment. No duty is considered the preferred domain of any one person. Both of us work, from home, in our respective jobs. We have the advantage of flexible jobs. This makes splitting parenting roles simpler. I have travelled on work and left everything in my husband’s care. From cooking to laundry to chores to parenting, he and I manage everything with ease. Our rule is, the job gets done. It doesn’t matter who does it.
SKP Q2. What is your greatest area of weakness as a parent?
Shailaja: One of the things I wish I could control is the weight of expectations I place upon my daughter. I forget often that she is a child and expect almost adult responses and reactions from her. I know it’s wrong and I have tried very hard to break this mould. Each day is a new learning experience.
SKP Q3. What did your parents do particularly well?
Shailaja: Honestly? I think pretty much everything. I know that sounds idealistic, but it’s true. They taught me to question, explore, debate and argue, but to always do it from a space of love. They ensured that they always supported me, no matter what or who I chose to become. They are the reason I even considered becoming a parent.
SKP Q4. How authentically do you speak with your kids?
Shailaja: As frankly as I can. I have always believed in openness and answering questions in truth. It is my belief that children deserve to hear things from the parents first. Be it puberty, use of technology or learning how to deal with mean kids or disappointment, it’s important we address them openly with our kids.
SKP Q5. What do you love about being a parent?
Shailaja: This is one domain I have absolutely no qualms about saying, ‘Teach me and I will learn.’ Every day is a learning opportunity. Each second is a possibility that I can take away as a life lesson. These are things I love about parenting.
SKP Q6. What is your greatest area of strength as a parent?
Shailaja: I’d like to think it is my ability to change the less desirable parts of my personality. My yelling-less challenge showed me that I could stop yelling at my child if I put my mind to it. Talking about puberty helped me shed my inhibitions as a woman and a mom. Letting my daughter fail and pick herself up from her mistakes is something I found tough at first but have learnt to let go. I know the road is rocky, but I am glad to be on this path.
Shailaja’s Review of SmartyKidsParenting.com :
It appears to be a site with a decent mix of articles on a variety of parenting topics. Parents are likely to find this useful as a resource.