There’s a quiet parenting revolution brewing in urban middle class households in metropolitan India, even if its ripple effect has not reached small town India. The once distant alpha male parent who restricted himself to discharging the role of provider and patriarch, is beginning to actively participate in child care duties and household chores. The women’s emancipation, equal pay for equal work and me-too movements of the new millennium as also the multiplication of double income households in post-liberalisation India have impacted hidebound male attitudes. Mercifully, a small but growing number of male parents in metro India have begun to share childcare and household chores in the interests of fair play and gender equity.
In anticipation of Father’s Day (June 16), our cover story examines the new phenomenon of hands-on male parents known as ‘penguin dads’ and their critical influence in raising happy and healthy children. In the animal kingdom, after the female penguin hatches her eggs, she takes to the ocean to hunt and feed for over two months. During this period, the male emperor penguin painstakingly nurtures eggs until they hatch and tends the little ones until their mother returns. Amazing but true! Such penguin dads are multiplying — even if not — fast enough in urban India. May their tribe increase! And quickly!
Our other stories in this issue are also interesting. In the Early Childhood section, we detail the new guidelines of the World Health Organisation (WHO) on physical activity and sleep for under-five children, while in the Adolescence section, Hyderabad-based Sq. Leader (Retd.) Jayasimha, a life skills educator who claims a Guinness World Records entry for memory-based feats, provides invaluable advice on developing speed reading capabilities. In the Health and Nutrition essay, well-known Vellore-based pediatrician Dr. Gita Mathai offers expert advice on how to plan and prepare children for the new school year.
We hope you are also enjoying our newly introduced Kidzone section specially targeted at children. This month’s theme is on how children can engage and bond with animals to develop the virtues of compassion and empathy.