What are the times you recall from your childhood? If you are reading this post, most likely you are from the generation of CRT TVs, fading radio culture and hints of portable computers. Don’t worry, we are not suggesting you’re old. While this might seem like something that took place ages ago, it didn’t.
It wasn’t long ago that we dressed our dolls in imaginative house plays, ran in circles playing kho-kho, shrieked in guilty delight at being sought from our hideout, took our cycles and raced the breeze, and backed our miniature cars to wind the motor up for a race.
It wasn’t long ago that children were free, magical and imaginatively engrossed in play. From the humble snakes and ladders, Children have now travelled to video games. And in a blink of an eye, Childhood was left behind.
When then, did childhood get a makeover?
Advent of technology
Children nowadays grow up with YouTube, Netflix and Spotify, learning to use smartphones or tablets before they are able to talk, writes Juliette Garside for The Guardian. And we believe this is incredibly positive. The writer also explains, “They may not know who Steve Jobs was or even how to tie their own shoelaces, but the average six-year-old child understands more about digital technology than a 45-year-old adult.”
Loss of innocence at an early age
What happened to bedtime stories? Kids have started to consume information in so many different ways. Children also get exposed to more information that kids were a decade ago. Ask a question, and there’s an answer available and more. Childhood is about gradual discovery. Discoveries that happen in a park when you have a fall, discoveries that happen when you’re reading a book, discovering the importance of people around you.
Earlier, information used to want to be free. Not anymore. Now information owns us. And as kids are exposed to more and more such information, imagination diminishes. Why think when there’s an answer readily available?
So if childhood loses its charm, there will be no flavor left in the adulthood resulting from it. Bright, passionate and considerate citizens aren’t made only in schools and offices. They are built on playgrounds and Legos. It’s essential to let a child play, even more than it is to make him/ her study. So make sure you are encouraging your child to run the right race instead of the rat race.
As we grew up reading Tinkle, Champak, Chacha Chaudary, collections of Amar Chitra Katha, or even Harry Potter, childhood got lost in these pages.
Summer will end like it always does. That doesn’t mean we need to do away with childhood. After all, childhood is the most beautiful of all life’s seasons.
At Rustomjee, Childhood awaits you.