One of my friends was having a chat with me today and suddenly I recollected a point that was very close to me but I was ignoring it for a long time. My friend and her wife are both working andthey have a small kid of around two years old. It is obvious that living in a busy city like Mumbai and with both the husband and the wife meeting their erratic professional schedules it is very difficult for them to give quality time to their ward. Only quality time that is given by the parents to their children is actually the weekend and with this evident fact it is also obvious that this quality time devotion also coincides with the time that they want to take their necessary rest because of a hectic week’s work and a possible hectic week ahead. The child desires to play with the parents and wants to play in fresh air. However, the parents have some other ideas.
Here comes a very good solution that meets the necessity of both the parents and the child. This solution is that of the fun-zones and kid’s playing areas made up in the shopping malls. There is the very necessary air-conditioned ambience and all the possible options in form of play area to make the kid very happy.The parents leave the kid in the play area for one to two hours by swiping some card and then either sit idle near the play area or just enjoy the company of their kids in the air-conditioned ambience. Seems very good and very convenient and it looks as if one is in the heaven and needed nothing else to entertain the kid. This, however, has a very shady side ahead which I am going to explain you.
Arush (name changed) is a kid of 5 years, and like many kids in Mumbai has both his parents working. A very intelligent kid considering his age Arush is one of the toppers in his class offirst standard and is very good in studies. However, he has a very weak point and that is he is not comfortable to play in the playground. He is not very accustomed to sports like cricket and soccer. He only waits for the weekends when his daddy and mummy are going to take him to the mall and make him play some cranky video-games in the air-conditioned atmosphere.Arush has also developed a sort of dust allergy, that should not develop in this age and this has happened due to his lack of exposure to playground environment. Whenever he goes to the playground he feels uncomfortable to play and yearns for his video games. To re-enforce this vice daddy has even bought a Play Station at home, which Arush relishes everyday under the split AC of the bedroom. Today he feels that even-though he doesn’t have enough friends to play football or cricket these gadgets can actually serve the purpose of his childhood.
The only question I want to ask is how justified is this incident that has happened with Arush. A kid of 5 years is allergic to dust. He doesn’t develop a good friends’ circle that is actually more apparent in this stage of growing. He is not fond of playing in the playgrounds and always wants his video games to be a part of his sporting activities. He is on the verge of becoming an isolated creature because of no fault of his and only the fault of his parents’ busy schedules. Is this how the future of India is going to grow? Is this the way we are going to nurture the hope of this country and proclaim that we will be the super-power of the 21st century? I believe to maintain a good order in the society and to sustain proper growth for this country it is very essential to provide a good quality childhood to our children. There is necessity for us to take these kids to the playground and make them accustomed to sports that are more practical and less virtual by sacrificing a little part of our comfort.
It is not natural for a kid to play video games and actually be addicted to that, when it is actually the age for him/her to be in the vicinity of nature. The kid has all the right to have a decent childhood just like we had. He is also equally entitled to see the animals in the zoo and not in the “Animal Planet”. We have our own justifications that it is much safer in the TV and zoo is mis-managed, but just introspecting may yield an answer that the mismanagement of the zoo is also due to our lack of interest in such places over the few years.
I remember, in this tender age I was not glued to the television and I used to wait for the clock to strike 5 in order to go and play. However, this zeal is not missing from today’s kids and the reason is the laid back attitude of parents like us. We really need to take some good advice from our predecessors in order to give our kids a good childhood. It is a fact that today’s children are becoming victims of premature obesity, lethargy and other metabolic complications due to the incorporation of these bad habits in their itinerary, for which, I believe the parents have to take the responsibility.