Childhood: Mine And His

Childhood means simplicity. Look at the world with the child’s eye – it is very beautiful.

Kailash Satyarthi

Two days back I had this conversation with S.
Me: Time to go down to play
S: No we will not go down
Me: You don’t want to play
S: No, I will play with all my toys
Me: Then let us take your toys and go down.
S: No, no going down. Play at home only.
Me: But your friends, don’t you want to have fun with your friends.
S: Noooooo
And this went on for 15 minutes before I could convince him to go down and play. Now this wasn’t the first time something like this was happening, so it got me thinking. Comparing my childhood with his and there is such a lot of difference. Times have changed and so have perceptions. I know that all kids are different, and this is not about parenting at all just a musing about changes over time. There are so many differences between how I grew up and how S is growing up.

We all know that the great memories of our childhood are the little triumphs – it doesn’t really matter whether that was in writing, art, on the hockey field or on the football field. It’s something that makes you feel – ‘I can do this stuff.’
Michael Morpurgo

As a kid I remember not having a lot of toys. The issue here was not monetary, but the sole unavailability. Technology has created so many advances, and the invention of new toys and games is one of them. Music is available to them readily, there are so many radio channels and there are TV channels especially broadcasting children’s content 24 hours 7 days of the week. We had to wait for the Sunday when we had He Man, Shazam or Thunderbirds on TV and we had to see whatever was telecast, no options no choices.
The rest of the time we spent with friends, playing games, making up games, sharing the toys that we had fighting, making up, and looking forward to the next two hours when we could do all of it over again. What a stark contrast, I used to fight for five more minutes to play and my son wants to go home early so that he can play something else. And most of the kids I see are happy to play by themselves, with their things rather than with the other children around. Teaching S to share has been my biggest challenge. I realise that things will change as he grows but, but the fact is that the definition of relationships is changing and so are the dynamics.

The fact is that the definition of relationships is changing and so are the dynamics. Click To Tweet

I do not miss childhood, but I miss the way I took pleasure in small things, even as greater things crumbled. I could not control the world I was in, could not walk away from things or people or moments that hurt, but I took joy in the things that made me happy.
Neil Gaiman

Do our kids know the importance of being happy in the moment and savouring the joys or they tend to find them in materialistic things? Will they be able to be without all these gadgets and technology. I know I am so used to them, I cannot switch off easily. Then how will they? The irony is for experiencing so much there will be so many things children may not experience. I understand that there is no comparison, and this is how our kids will grow up, surrounded by these abundant choices and technological advances. And with S, he does amaze me every single day with what he can do or achieve.

I think that the best thing we can do for our children is to allow them to do things for themselves, allow them to be strong, allow them to experience life on their own terms, allow them to take the subway… let them be better people, let them believe more in themselves.
C. JoyBell C.

But I wonder in all this variety how do we keep the little things alive? How do we teach them the value of that very abundance? Children are changing and so is the world around them. Do we slow them down to experience different things or do we teach ourselves to adjust to their pace and their new world?

Do we slow them down to experience different things or do we teach ourselves to adjust to their pace… Click To Tweet


28 thoughts on “Childhood: Mine And His

  • This is so true, things have been changing so fast that we cannot accept the fact that surroundings for kids are drastically different than ours and now we have no option but to be at the pace with that. It’s really difficult because if they get used to this, they might unfortunately never realize the importance of a life outside the virtual world, they will never know the difference of how to be happy for hours and how to be happy for a minute. Sigh, I am just wondering what I will do when I will reach this very stage.

    Good post, Jai. Always glad to be here 🙂
    Ashwini Dodani recently posted…Time Shall TellMy Profile

    • Oh yes, I agree we must keep pace with the kids. But seriously these days they don’t know how to be bored, thanks to all the avenues of entertainment available to them.

  • Times surely have changed dramatically na?
    We were never indoors during summer vacation and if we were – we were still playing or reading
    We didn’t have video games to play with – so, my sis and I used our imagination and built forts and waged wars as unicorns or princesses, depending on the day! 😀 😀
    I have beautiful memories – and I hope that our children will make theirs as well without the ipads and computers and video games…
    Pixie recently posted…Day 18 – hello!My Profile

    • Yes I remember those days fondly. I just hope that our children will grow up to learn things away from the screen also. I don’t deny they need to know because that is how fast technology is changing, but they need to know to live without that too and create memories of childhood.

  • I surely can’t compare my childhood with yours but I do happen to compare mine with today’s kid when I see my niece and nephews playing games on phones instead of roads, unlike the way we used to, some years back. The world’s changed and so is the childhood!
    Nibha recently posted…2015, What A Year It Was?My Profile

  • Oh yes, times have changed dramatically. I prefer to blend a few things of our times coupled with adopting some of the current practices for my child. It’s pretty challenging, I must say though!

    • Yes Shilpa, its the challenging aspect of it that made me write this post. Belding the old and new, while keeping the balance right, sound such a task. But it is fun to learn I must say that.

  • Yes you are right that children today are much more involved with themselves. Playing with real friends is diminishing. Today everyone is engrossed with computer games and other virtual games. One thing is for sure that you cannot remove technology from children’s lives. Did your parents restrict you from watching He-man, Shazam and Thunderbirds though they didn’t have it in their childhood. Still you and your parents interacted with each other. This was possible because instead of stopping you from using virtual entertainment, they introspected and indulged themselves with the people of your generation with a different outlook as their parents would have indulged with them. Likewise, you will have to indulge with your children in a bit different way compared to how your parents indulged with you. Only Introspection is needed!!!

    Followed your blog. Please read this story on my blog and don’t forget to follow it.
    We have so many negative attributes yet we don’t pay any heed to them. We must extinguish the slumber of ignorance thus giving birth to an enlightened mind which not only helps us but also others to outgrow their fear.

  • With every generation, toys and games have evolved but they still follow the same principles as how my parents used to play with. Similarly, every generation is bound to outwit their parents (seemingly or otherwise) for the progress of humanity.
    I personally feel, going with the flow, letting our children be who thy want to be, helps make learning easy for them while allowing us room to fit in. Undoubtedly, joining in, devoting time like a playmate works wonders in building bonds while letting learn a trick or two from our childhood days 🙂
    It’s my first time on your blog & I can already feel, I’d love to be back for more 😀

    • Hi, and a warm welcome to my Space. I agree everything has evolved so much, like it did from the previous one to ours. And I am doing all that I can. Sometimes though I cannot help but wonder is it enough to raise a sensitive kid who values what matters? Thank you for this wonderful comment. I look forward to hearing from you again ME 🙂

  • I don’t think it is only to do with technology. I think it is also phases. My elder son spent all his time playing outdoors when he was younger. But then he had a fallout with some kids and did not wish to play. Even now, I tell them to cycle if they don’t want to play. As Sid says, we learn as we go along. Basically, it is not about controlling but nudging them gently. What I have done is limited their gadget time. Beyond that if they want to spend time reading a book or just wasting time, I am okay with it. 🙂
    Rachna recently posted…A mother of sonsMy Profile

    • Yes Rachna, it might be a phase like you said, and I hope he grows out of it soon. Limiting gadget time is something I have done too. I guess I have to learn to be okay with whatever he chooses to do, if it is sit at home rather than play down then so be it. I cannot seem to stop worrying about whether he appreciates the little things enough though.

  • Definitions are really changing. And we are bound to make comparisons, but each generation learns in their own time.
    I remember how I loved to play outside, even during Board exams I was out playing Basket Ball till 10:00 pm 😉 Yeah, I was that kid! And now when I go back to my society, it’s dead silent. Not a child playing outside…strange…but I think these days they have had enough of extra curriculars in school, no?
    Aditi Kaushiva recently posted…A New DawnMy Profile

    • Yes the way they are taught is school and the amount of extra curricular activities have changed now. They is more fun and play in the way they learn. This is what is probably called the generation gap? Thank You so much Aditi 🙂

  • I can understand your concern. We are but helpless victims of changing times and the all too cliche generation gap! I had written a recent post Ring out the New, Ring in the Old, I say, which dealt with the same issue. We have no choice but to go with the drift, but all the same atleast attempt to inculcate the values of small pleasures and joys in the young minds, never know when these good values take root in young impressionable minds!
    Kala recently posted…Pondering a Pensieve PurchaseMy Profile

  • I agree with Sid, that we learn as we go. Even with my neighbor’s kids, I feel that. the elder now knows to share, but the younger is learning to. she’s mostly possessive still. but thankfully, neither are obsessed with gadgets 🙂
    Vins recently posted…WanderlustMy Profile

  • I understand where you are coming from, Jai and as much as it may hurt, I suggest you don’t fight it, not for now. Everything is a phase, to be honest. There will soon be days when he will refuse to come home and you will long for these days when he chooses to play at home. As long as he is not overly engrossed by technology, I think it’s safe to say he is comfortable in the choices he makes. Of course, he is young but who are we to say he doesn’t know what he’s doing? 🙂 My 9 year old outwits me every day and she’s been doing it ever since she was 2 😉 As a mom I understand your dilemma though. If he’s happy, that’s the important thing for now.
    Shailaja Vishwanath recently posted…Love potionMy Profile

    • I have kept his access to technology to bare minimum. He still refuses to go down and it kind of threw me off. Don’t get me started on his outwitting capabilities, he amazes me each and every time with it. Yeah, you are right, if he is happy I might as well learn to enjoy it too, before he out grows this phase and leaves me wanting it to be back. Thank you so much for this 🙂

  • You’re right Jaibala. The state of affairs for kids today is in stark contrast to our days. Even today, I love going down to play. However, most of the children who are present (they’re just a handful) are either sitting and talking like old men, or playing PSPs or board games. It’s almost like they are afraid of running around. Glad we were still children when technology was not around.

    Let’s see where this evolution takes us.
    Vishal recently posted…Stop Saying “I Don’t Have Time”. You’re Lying to YourselfMy Profile

    • I know right, there was this instance where a kid was shocked to know that I learnt Badminton and the rules of another games by reading in books. But that is how I learnt to play, unless someone taught you. I still have a book that has the rules for most of the games.Another instance was kids saying they cannot play lagori (pitthu) because they forgot their playing set (plastic) one at home. I was like if you have a ball then you can play, and they were shocked to know that flat stones can be used to play the game.

      I do hope that this evolution takes us to some place good and nice. For now, I have to learn to be a parent in this day and age.

  • I think every generation sort of learns as they go along; and so do we as parents.
    It’s impossible to control everything or give them the exact kind of experience that we had. So we just do the best we can. 🙂
    Sid recently posted…Of Festive MusingsMy Profile

    • True we do the best we can, and I also know that it is a futile effort to compare then with now, it cannot be the same. I just hope he learns to grow to value the important things.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

%d bloggers like this: