For someone who is a diehard fan of magical teamwork of Gulzar’s Poetry, RD’s Music and Kishore’s voice, it is a challenge to familiarize and further appreciate the individual brilliance of Taylor Swift on all three departments. For someone caught in a time warp at the stroke of midnight when we changed calendars into this new millennium, my sudden quest to familiarize with Taylor Swift Music has a story of its own.
The story starts from the date when we decided to spend some time in the US. From a timid pre-teen in Pune to a college-going young adult attending online classes at one of the world’s top colleges in this continent, my daughter’s transformation has been quite remarkable. But hang on this is not a typical ‘Desi’ parent boasting about exploits of his ward, though I could not avoid acting like one by telling you this needlessly. After all, I am a Desi parent. A major part of my daughter’s transformation happened during those four years of much glamourized high school years in the US. Though I have seen enough US films and TV myself during my own formative years and adulthood, I never had the slightest inkling of what it would be like being a teenager’s parent in the US.
But the parental issues are universal. In India my daughter was in her pre-teens, parenting was a challenge with a lot of questions. Should I be a pushing parent or a lenient one? Should I restrict her screen time? Should I get her a smartphone with social media access, should I filter contents, and so on? But having observed those years back then and now having Closely observed high school years in the US of my daughter, I have learned a lot of things to write a parenting manual for today’s Generation. The first thing to do is to a send follow request to your next-gen in order to befriend him/her. It’s not a cliché friendship but something I mean as ‘Bruh’ one. And to become a ‘real buddy’ or’ Bruh’ you need to do certain changes in your digital and physical footprints.
- Get on to ‘Insta’ and Snapchat: Forget your Whatsapp and Fb accts. FB and Whatsapp are the places to hangout for Uncles and Aunties. If you want to be in tune with the Next-gen, you need to be on Insta or Snapchat. You should learn how to create reels and boomerangs. You should go live once a week with irrelevant things to say. You should be snapping with you ward quite often.
- Use Google suite: Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides instead of Word, Excel or Powerpoint as its ‘cool’ to collaborate especially for homework/assignments and so on. Everything that happens online should remain online. Hard drives are boring. Office is for the offices even in these 365 days of mobility.
- Load yourself with caffeine. You need to survive in this cruel, cutthroat and complete your assignments. You need that extra alertness, smartness, and that kick. Ensure that your supply chain is stacked with coffee powder or the Energy Drinks like Monster. You appear trendy with your ‘Cupp-o-joe’ in your hand.
- Forget AM on the clock unless it crosses midnight. Start your days as late as possible to coincide with NextGen Timings the way you ensure collaboration in your onsite-offshore team. Early mornings are only allowed after a night out.
- Load your playlists with Lofi music if you need to study anything or concentrate. Lofi (Low Fidelity) music is compulsory for studying. You won’t get the concept unless you have that kind of music in your background. If possible have that virtual ‘Studygirl ‘as your study buddy. If your ward listens you playing Lofi with Studygirl you will be very popular.
- Acclimatize with K POP (BTS). If you discuss the Korean Pop music brand Bangton Boys you will climb up the popularity charts.
- Another trick to be popular with your ward is to help him/her with the hardest of study assignments. News will spread fast in the friend’s circle about your achievements in calculus or mechanics that you will be popular in the entire school/college. We Indian parents can definitely manage this. This in turn will make your ward popular and you will be definitely in the good books of your own ward.
- Don’t be a soccer parent in front of their friends. The last thing you need is to boss or scold or push your ward in the presence of their friends. You will lose some many points in the TRP charts that it will be difficult to regain the lost popularity unless you do any TRP scam.
- Know as many as Popular slangs: BT Dubz is By the way (Dubz means letter W), hmu (hit me up meaning reach me out on social media), Bruh (best buddy), Duh (wasn’t it so obvious), and so on. The list is long. There are many web resources to help you with that.
- Familiarize yourself with Khan Academy. This is the place your kids hangout more for studying than any other place in the world. And more than lectures, YouTube videos teach you topics you have opted to learn. If you partner with your kids with a deep know-how of these two resources you will be a Rockstar.
My daughter is an ardent Swiftie. So I want to be one as well as mentioned at the start of this story. Please note these are tips that I myself have figured out. Soon I plan to start classes on this parenting topic in the local circuit. Once I test that, this is going to be my next startup idea.
But I appreciate the clarity of thoughts and sorted out priorities for this Gen. Our Gen had no option but to succumb to the rat race and society pressure. This gen has got no baggage and they will stop nothing less than a victory even when they can get away with a draw. Fear of failure is a history.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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