Star Mom : Dr. Swati Lodha
Dr. Swati Lodha, is the author of Amazon Bestseller Book titled 'Don't Raise Your
Children, Raise Yourself' and and other Bestselling Books like 'Come On! Get Set Go'
and Why Women are What They Are'.
A Doctorate in Women Entrepreneurship, she is passionate about creativity and
innovation. She has been Dean, Faculty of Management Studies, JNU and Director -
AIMSR, Mumbai. She founded her first venture SWASH Pvt. Ltd 17 years ago which offers Training Courses to Youth, Professionals & Women.
Her latest venture 'LIFE LEMONADE' offers Corporate Training Workshops under four
verticals: Life Transformation, Women Empowerment, Parenting, and Leadership &
Motivation. She lives in Mumbai with her husband and daughter.
“Don’t Raise Your Children, Raise Yourself,” is an interesting mix of parenting guide meets compendium of Hindu Mythology. In the book, the author Dr. Swati Lodha interprets the spiritual dreams that she has as parenting wisdom. Dr. Swati Lodha reached out to me to review her book, that has fast become a bestseller on Amazon India. Despite her busy schedule, Dr. Swati also agreed to an interview with the Times Of Amma and we are very happy to host her thoughts for our community.
What made you get into the field of Corporate Training and LifeTransformation? I got into the field of Life Transformation at the age of 21 when I started my venture SWASH in Rajasthan. I started this venture in 1997 against the wishes of Family and Friends because I was passionate about it. Listening to people with empathy, collaborative effort to take them to their calling and making a difference in their lives – this was my action plan and I executed it every day for fifteen years. I would engage with corporate professionals through my lectures, power talks on different forums during this period. I got seriously into corporate training last year when I initiated LIFE LEMONADE workshops under four verticals: Leadership and Motivation, Life Transformation, Women Empowerment and Parenting. Could you tell us a little bit about your book and the term ‘MoonParenting’? This book which is my third book in the life transformation category is divided into two. The first part talks about ‘whats’ – what is the world of parents like, what is the world of children like, what is the right meaning of parenting in the digital age. The second part talks about ‘how’ – How do we raise our competencies as parents and not think that Parenting comes naturally. Parenting is a serious responsibility and a glorious gift. It talks about 25 lessons that we must impart to our children, consistently, over and over again. I coined the term ‘Moon Parenting’ when I associated the journey of Parenting with the journey of Moon. “Concept of Crescendo Presence” explains it beautifully. Just as the presence of moon in our life changes from full moon to new moon and back to full moon in one lunar cycle, our presence in our children’s life should follow the same pattern. We are fully present in our children’s lives when they are infants and the presence gradually reduces as they move towards tween age and teen age. It reaches the new-moon stage when our children are emotionally & financially stable, only to move to the next phase of parenting either as grand parents or otherwise as parents who are cared for by their children. Why did you choose to write this book? A writer writes when the pain of not writing becomes unbearable.
I chose to write this book in 2009 and it took me around five years to shape it up
I am a passionate parent, not only to my daughter but to thousands of participants ofSWASH workshops whom I stay in touch with, even now. I wrote it as I wanted to tell the collective story of many mothers and fathers and our learnings from internal experiences and external environment.
What was the most difficult part about writing it?
The most difficult part was to avoid making it preachy. I was writing it for myself as much as for thousands of parents out there who consider parenting as their deliberate livelihood.
It is not about quick fix solutions, it is about dwelling deep within to find our own
answers for our own family.
Since I am a lifelong student of Leadership and teach High Performance Leadership, I
consider Parenting to be the most sacred type of Leadership. Have you got reactions from parents on the book? What have they been like? The reactions have been overwhelming, critical as well as encouraging. It is always a mixed bag. Many fathers have loved the interpretation part while plenty of mothers have written to me that stories in the form of dreams make the lessons easy to remember. I am happy to receive so many reactions every day. Is it the Mother in you or the Trainer in you that guided the writing process? The mother in me becomes a leader at workplace. (I have been Dean / Director of threeB-Schools in last fifteen years) while the leader in me transforms into a mother while dealing with my daughter’s questions.There is no clear distinction as I find a lot of connecting dots between mother in me andLeader/Trainer in me. Is this the first book that meshes Hindu mythology and parenting together?In what ways do you see it helping parents? As far as my knowledge goes, this is the first book that does so.It makes us go back to our roots. It prompts us to think innovatively. My intention to mesh up Indian mythology with Parenting comes from the moon. The Moon is disciplined, patient and balanced. Parents need to be high on patience, balance and discipline. The Moon’s crescendo presence is an analogy that I have used for parents’ presence in the lives of children.To connect moon with Parenting 2.0, I brought in 27 Nakshatras (asterisms) and wove their characteristics to write a Parenting book which philosophises and offers solutions too.It helps parents to balance out the imagination and reality in their lives. It motivates them to create a fine balance between raising themselves and raising children. Parents think that they know everything about their children’s well-being. This is far from the truth and we need to accept that as soon as we can. Do you think that the book is only targeted at Hindu parents? Would parents from Western countries be discouraged from picking up the book because it is heavily entrenched in Hindu mythology? Doesn't this limit the readership? We read Shakespeare. We read Gabriel Garcia Marquez even when the Spanish names of the characters make the reading cumbersome. We appreciate stories from different cultures. Most of my contextual stories come from epics like “Ramayana” and “Mahabharata”. Some of them revolve around our famousGods like Lord Ganesha, Goddess Saraswati, Goddess Lakshmi which are extremely popular in the west.Also, the stories are supported by footnotes.I am still waiting to see the response from western readers, though some of my Harvard friends have appreciated it. The book is doing extremely well on Amazon India. What do you think accounts for its success? I am glad that the book is doing pretty well on Amazon India. It validates my passionate involvement in Parenting and inspires me to write and create more impact as a Parent and a Leader. The book is successful because it resonates with experiences of many parents. At the same time, it offers a fresh perspective. Dr. Swati Lodha, thank you so much for your time and refreshing insights. And here is an excerpt from the book, that she has generously shared for the Times Of Amma community
THE FIRST FOUNDATION IS THE CORE FOUNDATION: VALUE LIFE.
We are living in the most peaceful times in history as quoted by Steven Pinker, Harvard
Professor of cognitive psychology. Deaths caused by violence as a percentage of all
deaths have declined dramatically over the centuries. There are more chances of
Americans dying in a bathtub (one in 950,000) than in a terror attack (one in 3.5
million). Life expectancy has increased, plenty of inventions have improved the quality
of life, trade barriers have broken, but we do not value life as we should. We disrespect
life by deliberately cutting it short, we taint life by becoming a menace to others, we
waste life over petty squabbles and anxieties, we soil life by robbing it off its beauty,
spontaneity and we affront life by taking unhealthy risks. And we show our children
that family and friends can take a back-seat while we pursue our career.
I can’t refrain from thinking about a very successful doctor duo – a cancer specialist and
a gynaecologist. They were busy upgrading their hospital while the talented son was
studying medicine in another city. The mother went to visit the son before his final
exams and found him anxious and worried. She stayed for a week and must have
thought that everything will be fine once he returns home the next month. To their
horror, he ended his life.
We need to show our children every day that the most valuable thing in life is life itself.
It is no ordinary feat to have been blessed with this life. Be grateful. Be thankful. It is in
the course of life that everything happens. We experience everything because we have
“How difficult could life be for a young, would be doctor that he found dying easier than
We must tell our children that nothing lives like life. Life is larger than any loss, sweeter
than any success." You can download the book here.