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We pass the 100-day mark since lockdown started on 25th March. During this time, home-schooling started and with this parents intelligence and patience put to the test. Well, online learning is here to stay until at least schools re-start, which I hope soon. Not because of the constant pressure we parents are under in keeping our little ones occupied, but for the social skills, that children surely need to ignite their imaginations.

The first couple of weeks of lockdown went something like this. Boys, enjoy this break from school as this is never going to come back. In a couple of days, we begin to hear the word, bored. I'm not sure whether I used the word bored growing up, not because of the lack of vocabulary, but we would always find something to do. My sons quickly moved from we bored to this is very dull.

Somewhere in between all this, schools started online learning for a couple of hours every morning, which was perfect. Post noon is where the challenges began. As parents, we try and get the boys to understand the benefits of things we would think are essential for their growth and development, i.e. reading, eating greens, writing and even listening to Jazz. OK, I may be pushing it with the Jazz part of it. But come on! How hard can it be to understand the benefits of eating greens?

The morning online classes worked wonders for our mental-balance. Post noon engagements started positively only to peter out within a week. It didn't take boredom long to return. I was regularly hitting roadblocks in getting my boys to learn new things and getting them excited about the process behind what we were together trying to accomplish.

On exhausting all available resources to get the job done, I asked my boys. If you guys learn new things, read more, eat all the greens – who benefits? A prompt reply that I wasn't expecting came shooting out. "You Do - Dad". My reactions starting with a stammer - What? Really? One of my boys explained further. There is a secret pipe that connects our bodies, and if he and his brother complete all that is expected from them, then I and not them would benefit. We laughed about it, and even today it brings a smile on all our faces when negotiations stall and I use my last card - who benefits? Our conversation goes something like this. Who benefits? You - Dad. How is that? Secret Pipe. :)

Everyone benefits + SECRET PIPE + TEAM WORK

If you think about "Secret Pipe" in little more depth, the boys are right, a secret pipe does exist, and as parents, we benefit. We parents, serve as role models and lay the foundations of growth for our children through which they grow to be good human beings.

Let's try and take "Secret Pipe" to the workplace. When superiors effectively communicate with colleagues on what they expect and support provided. This is the starting point towards building trust, rapport and respect with each other. With the achievement of set goals/targets, both superior and subordinates, mutually benefit through 'Secret Pipe'.


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