The Modern Gurukul: My Experiments with Parenting by Sonali Bendre Behl


The Modern Gurukul: My Experiments with Parenting by Sonali Bendre Behl is one book I bought because I felt that the book has been compiled from the author’s first hand experience. This debut work of the author is an honest and sincere narration of her journey with her son. She has shared her parenting experiences with the readers right from conception till her son was nine, because I think that is when she wrote the book.

The blurb:

Are you confused about how to raise your kids?

How many hours should they spend with the TV, iPad or Xbox?

Do you worry about what they should eat, drink and read?

As the urban, nuclear family is becoming the norm, replacing the traditional joint family, what happens to the children who grow up with a single support system? In The Modern Gurukul, Sonali Bendre Behl shares her three principles of parenting that will help you find a balance between tradition and modernity, and show you how to raise your child in the digital age. Personal, anecdotal and honest, it highlights the need for a return to our roots to raise a healthy, curious and, most importantly, compassionate child.

My take:

The book has been written in first person in simple language and there were times when I felt that she was reading it aloud.  She has mentioned three principles- Do it yourself; Accept failure and Draw the line. In the introduction itself, the author mentions that she began reading books on parenting once she got pregnant and the more she read, the more confused she was which holds true for almost everyone.

She has discussed, how in every step of her bringing her son up, she would weigh the pros and cons. Like how much TV he should watch, what should be his sleep time, how much he should play, about which system of education is best for him, and so on and so forth. She talks about making time for things, about teaching her son the value of money, about the family movie time among other things and how they discuss things as a family.

She has mentioned that the grandparents are not surrogate parents and how she has managed to develop a close relationship between her son and both sets of grandparents and how he spends quality time with them.

She has also managed to inculcate good eating habits in her son. She has mentioned about how they changed their way of life and their behavior so that their son imbibed them and also how she manages to discuss things with her son.

She has come clean about a lot of personal things about her family, their weakness and their problems. She talks about her husband, how he changed himself, his lifestyle and a lot of other things for their son.

The language she has used is straight from the point of view of a mother and she has kept it simple to understand easily. What I really liked was the way the font size varied when something important is being told.

Though my elder one is eleven and my younger one ten, I have marked a few points that I feel they should read from the book, so that they can inculcate something from the many things mentioned.



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