More dads in Mangaluru getting into active parenting: Survey


TOI, 10-03-2018 13:52:14


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More dads in Mangaluru getting into active parenting: Survey

MANGALURU: For Advait Gopalan, spending time with his kids is one big stress buster. “In my family, all men realize how important it is to help our wives with parenting responsibilities,” Gopalan says. “We are happy to contribute in our own small way."

Welcome to the new generation of ‘Penguin Dads’, a tribe which is growing in Mangaluru too — according to a survey by e-retailer Flipkart.

Present-day fathers cannot be defined as breadwinners or by their professional credentials alone. Penguin Dads are those who choose to make time to bond with their children. They battle the boardroom just as easily as they do baby baths; change diapers as easily as gears and play chef, clown and caretaker with equal ease.

They want to be involved in every aspect of their child’s life — not because they are forced to — but because they want to play an equal role in being a parent.

Penguin Dads are the antithesis of the archetypal Indian dad, challenging and breaking stereotypes about who does what in the family. They represent the progressive change in the fatherhood narrative in India. They’re just regular dads taking an active interest in their child’s life, driven by the motivation to be seen as a friend to their child.

Interestingly, the survey found that 83% of Mangaluru dads prefer to be ‘stay at home dads’, 32% more than the average across the country, making it the highest score in the cities surveyed.

The next two spot is begged by Lucknow while Bhubaneshwar and Nagpur hold third position jointly. 

Sharad V, another Penguin Dad, says: “I feel proud that my daughter can talk to me about anything. It means she has the same level of comfort with me as she has with her mother. I do have a hectic work schedule, but I try to always keep some hours aside to spend quality time with my kid.

This is in line with the survey findings. It found that 72% of Mangaluru dads define themselves as a friend to their kids, which is 18% more than the national average. Guwahati and Bengaluru dads follow Mangaluru in this category. The survey was conducted in 17 cities which included 1,700 fathers above the age of 22 and in varied professions

Ananth Rai’s dad had played the role of a provider. “He wasn’t very much involved with us as kids,” Rai said. “But I’ve made a conscious choice to do more for my kids — small things like helping her with homework or telling her a bedtime story really go a long way.”

However, only 36% Mangaluru dads spent time with their family post fatherhood, 35% less than the all-India average, the lowest score in the cities surveyed.

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