A Real Chance at Childhood

Children's day is celebrated on November 14 in the honor of Jawaharlal Nehru, our first prime minister. He was a great admirer of children and strongly believed in them. And we carry on the tradition though today it is only for name sake.Why is it a meaningless tradition today?

It is because, children are mini-adults today. They are not technically children anymore. Why?

For one,children are strongly opinionated and love to talk strongly about things even which they haven't got the slightest clue. They are the unacknowledged technical geeks in the family who are engineers by passion and scientists by necessity or so they claim. They are not interested in silly walking and talking animated objects (called cartoons) over which the previous generation literally drooled over. Their childhood is already skewed because in most cases, they are the only child in the family. They never actually have the choice or chance of understanding the fun of coming together. Outdoor games are literally not existent along with interesting board games like snake and ladders and ludo. Children are taught to talk in English but they haven't got the slightest clue why trying to own a neighbor's toy is wrong.

Neighbors and cousins are as foreign to them as algebra. Computers rule their life. They know what an unknown person is doing on Facebook but they haven't got the slightest clue what their own siblings are up to.

All that said, these are not complaints against children. These are observations of how children blindly follow their parents. So if you want your child to have a memorable childhood, stop being glued to the computer and spend time with your child. Get out of those four walls and explore the world around you. Chase butterflies, skim rocks in the river, have great nature outings, maintain a scrap book or play hide and seek. If you want your children to turn out to be great, be a great parent from whom your child automatically learns by example. A child's mind is like a clean sponge which absorbs everything early. There is no analysis of whether it is right or wrong. That is how they should be. Today my son split some kum-kum on the floor and had smeared his face and hands with it. At first sight, my reaction was 'Why can't you sit quiet?' But hell, he is just a year old. If I'm expecting him to sit quiet, he will defy the definition of a toddler, won't he?

So my final word. Just let them be. Teach them things the traditional way so that they learn to slow down and enjoy their childhood. There is no rush to engage them in things which are meant for adults. If he does not know how to operate a touch screen phone or have an account on Facebook, the world does not end. Being a child with lot of smiles and happiness is a blessing every child deserves. It is the moral responsibility of every parent to ensure that their child gets a real chance at childhood.


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