“Childhood is a golden phase of life laced with innocence – try to keep it intact”.
Remember hide and seek, catch me if you can, marbles, dolls, ghar-ghar (don’t know how to translate meaningfully☺), skip the rope? And the list goes on.
So what’s the catch? Well, catch is apart from sweet memories and carefree giggles most of the games we used to play in our childhood gave us the requisite amount of physical activity which is an integral part of healthy lifestyle.
I am 31 years old and strongly feel that I belong to a different era. An era of Tom and Jerry, Jungle book on Sundays; an era of carrom board games during the day time and badminton in the evenings during summer vacations. And the most important and beautiful aspect of that era is “innocence”. Fights were there but sans guns, questions were there but relevant to the age and never absurd, competition was there but never ugly.
Now when I see kids of this generation, I am amazed and sometimes agonized too. They are way smarter and informed than what we used to be. A six-year-old kid of this generation is a pro in surfing net than me and you. A ten-year old kid talks about a girlfriend-boyfriend relationship, a fifteen year old is old enough to experience smoking and by the time eighteenth year arrives, well they are already ADULTS! I can bet on that.
Thanks to the nuclear family set ups, intrusion of internet in lives, impact of television, never-ending chase of goals resulting in less family time, peer pressure…. Our kids are at risk of losing their childhood faster. Not only childhood is fading away but the health has also taken a hit. Vitamin D deficiency, week eye sight, increasing cases of juvenile diabetes are few to name which are offshoots of current lifestyle.
I would like to support my argument with an example. Yesterday I was watching a random movie which showed a kid of around ten-year old teaching hero of the movie tricks to woo a girl. I was irked by that because this is something unexpected from such a young one.
Talking about the impact of television on young minds it is really worrisome that most of the cartoons viewed by children showcase guns and wars and nothing is funny about them. This provokes the violent streak in them. Recently while surfing net I came across few articles that showcased the concern of parents whose kids are watching a particular cartoon called “Peppa Pig”. The central character of the series is a very spoilt and ill-mannered child of a dysfunctional family. And imitation which comes naturally to kids are imitating Peppa and it’s unacceptable (read rude) tone and behaviour. This is concerning the kids of younger age. The increasing number of incidents of violence using weapons among adolescents is posing a question, where our children and their childhood is heading towards.
There’s nothing wrong to be mature and informed. In fact our preceding generation might hold the same view for us as we do for our next generation. Then what is the difference between us and our next generation?
The major factor that made and could make a whole lot of difference is “family time”. I still remember no matter how busy the day was my father always made it a point to spend quality time with us (me and my brother), enquiring how our day was, how our studies are going; we used to have one time family meal together, cook for us occasionally, play with us. Such simple gestures make a lot of difference. That strengthens bond between parents and children and could refrain them from going haywire.
A glance at current situation presents a weird picture. In a family of four, everyone is busy with their respective gadget on dining table, communication is more or less about Facebook updates, concept of individual space is so twisted that questioning is considered an intrusion into personal space. And when there is no tab and secrets dwell within, there is every possibility of children being mislead and misguided be it by social media, television or a person.
Therefore believe it or not role of parents is of utmost importance when children and their future is in question.
- Talk to them
- Listen to them
- Try to understand them
- Stand with and for them
Remember one thing always: your gifts may go obsolete with time but not values imparted. It’s on us to keep the innocence and childhood intact.