One of Egypt’s biggest and favorite vloggers is Osman Badran. The 40-year-old branding expert -also referred to as Brand Architect– is the perfect depiction of a working father who shares online the trials and tribulations of raising teens. The father of three -aged 14, 10, and 8- leads a hectic life while trying to find a balance between his branding agency The Brand Bees, alongside partnerships with Circus and Cash Cows, and being a dedicated parent.
We wanted to highlight the reality and challenges that face an Egyptian working father who is married to a working mother. Here are Osman Badran‘s parenting confessions:
Share with us a glimpse of your role as a working father.
Most entrepreneurs, like myself, lead a busy life. We’re always on the go and working around the clock. Since we don’t have the classic 9-5 working hours, our involvement with the children is less than the moms, especially during weekdays. I’m more involved during the weekends. I take the children out, attend their events and sports practices, etc. On weekdays though, I’m the peacemaker between my children and their mom for times when a father needs to give discipline and support. I wish I could do more because kids are the most beautiful thing in this world.
I try to unwind and be totally present with them. I never commit to any work-related matters during weekends, unless it’s a work disaster. Starting Friday, the day goes however they want. Long vacations are the best; we all disconnect from non-family matters and reconnect with one another.
What is your go-to parenting approach?
Talking sense into them works best. I am dealing with different ages, so every age has its approach. However, wisdom and active listening have proven to be efficient at all ages. This generation is smarter than us, because they are born in a smart world, and you have to cope with it. You’re battling so many things as peer pressure, social media, bad habits, and rebellion teenage years. Hence, you need to be smart and calm.
How do you picture the role of a father versus a mother?
The mother is above everything. I’m not going to compare any role to that of a mother, who has the strongest role in the family. However, men are more strategic, which gives them a very important role as well. In my opinion, a father has two main roles; the first thing is to set the rules of engagement inside the house. The second role is to provide for the family to fulfil the vision he’s drawn for their future.
Share with us parenting methods that you and your wife avoid.
We never hit our children. And I’d like to highlight a very important aspect here. Apart from weakening the child’s character by laying a hand on them, you’re unconsciously helping them accept the idea of being hit by someone else. This could result in domestic violence later on.
As a father of a teen and two tweens, what are your concerns? How do you deal with them?
Every generation has its code of values that they abide by while raising their children. Hence, there’s a learning curve here. I’m trying to build a relationship with my 14-year-old girl, since giving orders and preaching clearly doesn’t work. You also can’t talk sense into teens. I learned to be kind and precise, and then leave her to think. I’m also into social media, so I’m capable of keeping up with my teens and tweens.
Which age was the most difficult to parent so far?
Teenage years -from 13 to 17 years old- without a doubt. It’s not only about the teenagers but also about the repercussions of dealing with them. It’s challenging and tough.
You are a father of two beautiful girls and a boy, what are the things you do differently while raising the girls versus their brother?
I speak to them in the same way, but the trick is your tone. I apply my marketing techniques while talking to my children. For instance, my 14-year-old won’t listen, so I talk for a few minutes and leave her to think. The 10-year-old son is a better listener, so I talk calmly with him and try to engage more, especially that he’s a boy and needs his father. As for my 8-year-old daughter, I use a more child-friendly tone. I’m also observing my mistakes with my teenager to avoid them with my tweens.
The term mom-guilt is pretty familiar, do you ever feel the dad-guilt?
I do. I hate missing out on spending time with them and for not being part of most of their lives and memories. However, I’m really committed to sustaining the way I provide for the family so we live in a certain standard.
Tell us about a mistake you made as a father, and a lesson learned from your experience.
I used to be a because-I-said-so type of father. I never listened. I wasn’t calm and easily irritated and frequently said NO. Until I found out that it doesn’t work that way. I realized that the calmer I am, and the more trust I build, the more control I have.
Name one situation where you felt trapped and wondered how their mother does it.
Children generally are very tough. Every now and then I take the lead and ask my wife to unwind and leave it all to me. Then I realize how crazy the day-to-day life must be. Each child needs a professional child manager! My wife is a working mom too, and she’s excelling in her career. I don’t know how she does it all. I’m very proud of her, and frankly speaking, after reading this, I’m a little scared she takes more kids-free time, and I’ll be stuck.
Do you ever help with homework?
If I have to be honest, 98% of the time I don’t. My children are taught to independently study. And if I’m being more honest, I don’t want to; I want to get back home to disconnect. However, yes, I do help if they need to revise something.
What is one thing you wish to do as a parent but never get the chance to?
Without hesitation, to have lunch every day with the whole family. I don’t have this luxury, and that’s something I really miss.
What would you like to tell every mom out there whose husband is always at work?
It’s not that we don’t care, we do, but we are working hard to provide for our children and it’s not our choice. Yes, we’d love to spend more time with the kids and more time at home. We’re tired and would kill for some free time or a power nap. But we can’t afford this as well.