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.
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.’
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.
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.
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