I am Paresh Patil, a 32 year old investment consultant. Earlier I was working for a company which used to pay me about Rs. 30,000 per month. I quit my job 6 months back as I thought that I was stagnating in my job and the scope of career development is more if I work independently. I did well in the first 2 months, but since the last 2 months, business is slow. I am not able to reach my breakeven figure of the job – Rs. 30,000 but make about Rs. 20,000. Henceforth, I have to work extra hours. The problem is that my son Shivam, 4 years old has become very stubborn and destructive. He refuses to study and is breaking most of his toys also. My wife Asha also cannot handle him as she has to take care of the household chores. She is also complaining that I am not giving enough time to her and the family. Shivam has also stopped listening to her and is constantly clamoring for my attention. Please advise.
The whole question here is of priorities. It seems Paresh, that you are more guided by your image of what you should have and what you should be rather than what you are and what is happening around you. It seems that the family as a priority has been put on the back-burner. It also seems that you are not looking at the following factors. Any business that has high returns will have some insecurity in the beginning. Otherwise, everyone would jump onto that bandwagon. People go for the job security primarily because they want to avoid the anxiety that you are suffering from at this time. So, it appears that you have overlooked this fact about the teething problems that are inherent in every business. The second assumption which you have is about your wife and son’s needs for you. You must have felt that they need the comfort and lifestyle that money can provide more than the love and time that you can give. However, you have been blind to the condition of both of them. It is obvious that your son is reacting to the lack of attention that you give to him by being stubborn and destructive – both actions being able to get your attention. You need to be careful because this can easily turn into a personality trait which may cause a lot of problems later on and may also become irreversible if he gets the feeling that the only way to gain attention is to be destructive.
What you can do.
Firstly, you have to be guided by the situation and not your internal images. It is apparent that your son and wife need a lot of time. So schedule that first. You may feel that it hurts your business, especially in the initial phase. You might have to give up the idea of reaching the figure of your salary. Please look at your needs rather than your internal images. Pride may come in the way, but you have little choice. Decide a formula for the next six months. Try and manage in a smaller amount of money. Cut down on the luxuries of the family and be frugal in your spending. Try and work so that you can earn the basic requirements. There are many methods of spending time with each other that do not require spending money. I am sure that your wife and son will appreciate the time that you spend with them. Secondly, take up some activities that all three of you can do together. This will enable you to feel like a family. It will also increase the respect of your wife in your son’s eye as you respect what she is. He may then start listening to her. You may need to do this exercise for six months. This will be a sufficient period of time for your son to start feeling close to you. Gradually you may start giving more attention to your business. You may feel that what I am advising is a very long term process but development is slow and long term. You may end up losing some money and more than that some crucial time which may be needed in the business. However, you do not want to be in a situation that you are earning but spending that amount in the treatment of your child thus losing on both accounts and getting a lot of trouble in the bargain.