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Childhood isn’t a child’s play!!

March 14, 2012

Childhood – The one phase of our lives which is the most memorable with loads of memories, many things to learn, early friendships, loads of mischief, food, play and what not. That phase of our lives when we dint have to worry about how to shape up our careers, we didn’t have to worry about how to earn money and also didn’t have to plan on how to save it. Needless to say they are the most cherished and care-free days of our lives.

Looking back at my childhood, I can remember climbing the guava and Badam trees which were present in our home. Playing gully-cricket with friends in colony, play ice-pass and loads more. Though I managed to score decent marks all through the schooling, I am sure I haven’t spent more than an hour and half or two for studying. The school day was only for 5.5 hours long and on every single day the school had one class which was not related to studies – be it sports/ music/library or the like. At the end of the day, there was no stress on us and it really didn’t matter if it was a quarterly exam or the main exams.

Times have changed and so has the way one enjoys one’s childhood.  The way our parents enjoyed their childhood was different from the way we did; and now, the way the present generation spend their childhood is completely different from ours. Today, every child is spending a minimum of 8 hours in school followed by tuition/tennis/dance/music classes (Not sure how many of them go to such classes with interest rather than for the reason that their parents want them to go). And when they are done with all these, they spend the rest of the time by getting addicted to the gadget world: be it play stations/ PCs/laptops/TVs or whatnot. Seeing this, I am not sure if the kids these days are really enjoying or if they have time to enjoy their childhood days and if they do, would they hoard these memories for the rest of their lives like we used to? But then after a minute or two of thinking, I would convince myself thinking that this would be the worry of every generation and it would continue like that for a long time to come.

Speaking of childhood and the innocence it generally is associated with, I am not sure if the today’s kid is being allowed to retain his/her innocence until they reach that appropriate age. Be it TV shows, advertisements or the films, everyone is bent on pushing the limits of a kid and want to corrupt the younger minds with irrelevant information at their age. Until a while ago, I used to believe that a way a child evolves majorly depends on the parents. But with the advent of so many ways of communication and entertainment which throw so much information onto us, I tend to believe it’s not just the parents that the kids are influenced by. There are so many ways in which information is being flooded into the young one’s mind and not every channel be scrutinized before its allowed for the kid. Can it? When an innocent mind is flooded with irrelevant details, who has to be blamed for the lost innocence? Is it the kid? Or the parents? Or the society as a whole? Honestly, I am not sure if there would be a definite answer.

I’ve seen so many kids who behave way beyond their age. For example, a 6 year old speaking of killing the villains mercilessly and enjoying some pleasure describing the scene, an 8 year old speaking of a movie hero which in so many ways resembles to a college girl describing her new found crush to a close friend! And then so many other ones who talk way beyond their age and the parents proudly showing it off as if it were some skill! In both the above cases that I have mentioned, there was no parental discretion in what the child watches on TV or what kind of movies the kid is exposed to. And even if there is, most of the films that we get to see these days are labeled ‘U/A’ and yet seem to have most of the content that would clearly make it an ‘A’ film. And then there are those innumerable ads which are given clearance by the censor board to be aired on TV.

To conclude, I am not sure if the post has a logical flow and I am also not sure as to what this post talks about – Is it about the faulty censor board or is it about the education system or about the entertainment industry or most importantly is it about the responsible yet ignorant parent? Honestly, I am not sure.  All I intend to mention is that in today’s world, it’s so easy for a child to lose his innocence and miss out on loads of things associated with childhood and that it’s primarily the parents’ responsibility to ensure that it doesn’t happen.

P.S: This post came up after reading a couple of articles and debates relating to the recent ad by a leading mobile service provider in India which starred a young boy and girl probably in their early teens.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 14, 2012 7:09 PM

    Childhood today is very different from what it was when we were growing up -for a lot of reasons. Daughter goes for classes – but I ensure that we do only those that she really enjoys. Infact I was trying to cut down on a few -because it drives me nuts sometimes, getting her to all those places – but she loves the activities that she does so much, that she won’t hear of missing even one 🙂

    As for inappropriate stuff- I am one of those crazy mums who is very particular about what I let daughter watch. I know that some people think I am crazy to not take her to Bollywood movies, or let her watch Bllywood songs – but to me, they are entirely inappropriate for her. We watched – apparently it was marketed, with children in mind – I would never let my child watch it – it was disgusting in o many ways! How, how can children be allowed to watch that junk? And even the TV channels – they play highly inappropriate numbers the whole time..

    Mystery: I understand your case Smitha. In some cases, it is the children who are genuinely interested in a lot of activities, but of the total number of children who are enrolled into such classes, the ones who are actually interested wouldn’t be more than 20-30%! That’s the sad reality..

    Talking of censoring the content the kids get to watch, I feel that one of the most important advantages of staying abroad is that you can engage the kid into a lot of other activities and restrict the bollywood movies and the like without the child feeling that he/she has been missing out on something. But when you are living in the country, I feel it becomes even more difficult to handle such situations. Even if the kid is totally okay with skipping such stuff, it’s the neighbors and the ‘well-wishers’ who make it a point to ensure that the kid is missing out on something very important!!! Also, with both the parents working, it gets even more difficult to put such censorship in place..

  2. March 14, 2012 7:33 PM

    welcome back Mystery! 🙂
    yea, childhood nowadays is so different! But, I have also seen parents being lazy with their kids and let them watch TV instead of taking the trouble to take them to the park because they are being plain lazy! 😐
    And the TV channels and movies are filled nonsense which are totally inappropriate!
    when I have my kids, I’m censoring their TV watching !

    Mystery: Thanks Pixie:)
    I’m totally with you regarding parents these days being plain lazy and not introducing the kids to a whole lot of other possible options apart from TV/PC..
    ‘when I have my kids, I’m censoring their TV watching !’ – I’m planning to do the same when I have mine:D

  3. March 15, 2012 4:00 AM

    I have seen that ad… till the point of dog not allowing the guy I thought it was cute. But after that it become horrible!!! what kind of thoughts this ad will create in the mind of kids… I think censor is really needed for the things that are being shown in TV.

    Well I don’t think TV is giving anything worthwhile for kids these days. Even if they do these kind of ads ruin it!!!

    Even I think about a lot about the childhood of kids these days… I think at this rate we will become immobile. There are no open spaces for them to play and all their time passes in front of the cartoons or Playstations 😦

    Mystery: That’s true Kanagu. With the way we are constructing buildings one after the other, I am sure we would not be able to make space for the parks and grounds that are so essential for the kids..

  4. March 15, 2012 2:23 PM

    Yeah that ad left a funny taste in my mouth too. There was also another campaign recently that a chocolate brand brought out, where a girl and boy in early teens are sitting together on the steps with chocolate smeared across their faces, the girl’s father turns up and they both grin. Somewhere it made me feel uneasy than remember innocence.

    Why can’t we just let kids be kids? Kids grow up so much faster these days 😦 We are lamenting about how they are losing their innocence….

    It’s not just these 1 or 2 ads Ash, there are so many other ads which have cropped up on similar lines..
    ‘Kids grow up so much faster these days 😦 ‘ – so true 😦 😦

  5. the.dreamer permalink
    March 22, 2012 7:46 PM

    This is something that I guess every parent thinks about atleast once a day. But I guess, now-a-days it’s more the kid who chooses rather than the parent who dictates. When we were kids, parents almost had a lot of influence on us. But these days, with the advent of globalization, there’s so much info n so many people out there that parents do not have the same hold, I guess. And with us trying to ape the Western civilization, that too for all the wrong things, things have only gotten worse. We do not eat as many salads as them but burgers, oh yeah, we live for them! Sad but true! Let us only hope that we learn whats good for us and evolve, for that’s how humans even came into the picture, Evolution!!

    Lets hope that at least we have the strength to show the kids what’s beneficial to them! Instead of some advertising guy, who is minting money while enjoying his penthouse apartment!

    Mystery: Welcome here dreamer!! Good to see you leave a comment and share your thoughts:)

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