From last minute deals to delicious recipes you can whip up in a jiffy, the Internet is flooded with ideas for making your mother feel extra special this Sunday. But if you think about it, Mother’s Day, over the course of time, has become a fleeting “thank you…” celebration, one that children brag about on social media with photos and heartfelt messages. But as soon as the day gets over, mothers are back in the shadows. While the mother is always the go-to adult for a child, it’s the father instead who ends up being idolised and hero-worshiped.
For instance, the dynamics in the Bachchan family clearly point to the fact that it’s Bachchan Sr that the family goes gaga over. Shweta Bachchan admitted in an interview that her father Amitabh is the “length and breadth of her universe”. The family’s public appearances are also incomplete without Amitabh’s towering presence.
In another example, Shruti Haasan considers her father “her greatest inspiration”. She is often spotted at movie promotions with her father and has spoken about him being her pillar of strength. Similarly, for Soundarya and Aishwarya, it’s all about their mega star father Rajinikanth, and one rarely hears about their mother. When it comes to politics, TRS MLA and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s daughter, Kavitha Kalvakuntla, has also admitted that she is “papa ki beti”. Even the films being made in Tollywood are increasingly exploring the theme of daddy fixation. S/o Satyamurthy starring Allu Arjun is the latest tribute to fathers.
Psychologists point out that the “God like persona” of a father in any family is not really a recent phenomenon. “Children have always taken their mothers for granted because a mother’s presence has been more constant and, thus, undervalued. Fathers, on the other hand, have always felt guilty of not spending more time with their kids. And thus they lavish kids with presents,” says Dr K. Prashant, clinical psychologist, Yashoda Hospital. He admits he does the same with his daughter and also takes her along for seminars and conferences. “While the mother does the groundwork and the real parenting, the father swoops in with grand gestures and in this manner the children end up idolising him,” he says.
“The dynamics of a father-children relationship is very clear — while the mother is the one who disciplines the child as she spends more time with him or her, it’s the father who is more into having fun and showering them with attention,” says Dr Pulkit Sharma, clinical psychologist, Imago: Centre for Self, adding, “In the later stages of their life, fathers do impose restrictions, but by then, children have formed a strong bond. Therefore, they seem more connected with their fathers than their mothers. That is what you see in many relationships nowadays.”