This week we spoke to tech-savvy, start-up pioneer and dad, Vije Vijendranath about his blog for dads, his views on technology and kids and his family. We met Vije’s wife Shan last year as well.
Tell us about yourself?
I’m a father of 2. A girl of 4 and a boy of 1. I’ve worked as an engineer for a long time and recently I’ve been running my own startup company in media as well as blog as a dad when I get a chance. I’m also a professional photographer and I mostly do weddings.
Tell us about your blog?
My blog is called “The Six Pack Dad”. I started this blog not only to speak about my life as a dad, but also my love of technology and personal photography. Therefore, my blog is different from other dad blogs as I discuss how the general things affect you after your become a dad rather than just dad duties. This means I don’t speak about diapers or choice of prams but rather dad’s work or hobbies that brings other dads together. My blog is also an open platform for other dads to contribute their views as well.
How do you feel about using technology as part of learning?
It’s a controversial subject as we are never sure of the effects of technology on kids as they are being subjected to it as kids while we are only experiencing through adulthood. This is also compounded by the fact parents today are in conflict of the old-school teachings of outdoor play with physical touches and sensations compared to “screen learning”. The technology of today is pervasive and so integrated into our lives it is important that kids know how to use it from an early age. It has become as important as learning to read and write. The jobs, work and career of tomorrow will require people to know how to use them effectively to be successful so I agree that technology needs to be part of learning but it in small doses so kids can learn to be human while being literate in technology.
What are your kids favourite apps?
What do you love about South Africa and raising your children here?
South Africa is a beautiful country and it is relatively cheaper to raise children here and that includes the cost of living overall. This means there are so many nice places in South Africa to take the children that are quite affordable as well. The business opportunities are available too as we are move towards a more digital lifestyle and thus it gives our family more opportunities with the work we do. Our lifestyle and costs in South Africa allows us to spend more time at home and attend to our children.
TV “Yes” or “No”?
Yes (with time limits).
What is in the lunchbox?
Fresh water, juice. NO ARTIFICIAL SUGAR or ADDED SUGAR foods. Fruits, porridge and sandwiches. We also include yoghurt and cheese.
How do you balance it all – in one sentence?
We (wife and I) both run our company from home so we have more time to focus on our businesses but at the same time we can attend my daughter’s drama during the working hours of the week. During the day, we try to focus on kids and at night we work on our startup.
Do you children do chores at home, if so what and how do you manage it?
My daughter does some chores such as cleaning up her room after she brings ALL her toys to the lounge. My son is only an year old so chores for him yet.
What are your favourite holiday plans/ activities with kids?
My favourite is where the kids can enjoy wide open spaces, lots of fresh air, access to water (like a beach) and activities that of course places where it’s family friendly. We also enjoy theme parks and we recently took our daughter to Disney World in Florida, USA.