'Is your Child ready to face the world?' is the newest parenting book on the block, attempting to guide parents on the rather difficult task of nurturing values, the right attitude and humanitarian qualities in their child. Dr Anupam Sibal, the author and an accomplished pediatrician with Apollo Hospitals, Delhi has offered a completely non-medical perspective, based on his life as a father and as a pediatrician.
'Will I be able to instil in my child the values that I hold dear? Will my child learn to differentiate the good from the bad and follow the right path? Will he/she be a good human being, caring and kind? Will my child value family relationships, make a mark in his/her profession and leave the world a better place?' – are some of the deep-rooted concerns of any parent beyond the basics of health, nutrition and education, the author rightly points out. The book is an attempt to help parents with some of these answers.
The author has picked up around 18 traits of a sound personality and explained each in a different chapter through several detailed examples from the lives of great men or even ordinary souls with extraordinary qualities. The examples are wide ranging from President Obama, to Mahatma Gandhi, Sachin Tendulkar and Ratan Tata to several distinguished medical experts (closer home for the author, as we can guess). The most interesting aspect of the book is that the stories have been woven very appropriately and told like we would tell our child.
At some places though, the story is a bit too long or very medical field centric, which may take away from the otherwise undivided attention of the reader.
The book is better suited for parents of teenagers. The author rightly recommends this exercise (talking to the child at an opportune moment with a timely story) for age 12 years and above as that's when they have the maturity to understand some of these topics.
The language is easy to read and one could finish reading the book over a couple of hours in a flight.
The only not-so-appealing part of the book is its look and feel – the page quality and fonts are a bit too traditional. Given the fact that it has been published by Penguin Publications, the book could have been a little more attractive for a modern reader.
These timeless tenets of wisdom are not new for any parent but this is a must-read book especially to learn from Dr Sibal's own experience of raising his son. Amitabh Bachchan sums it up perfectly, saying - 'Ever so rarely, you come upon a book that is timeless.'