Don’t Play Down Play

In the highly competitive present-day world we often hear elders lament that children of today are without childhood. Totally denying that statement would be difficult when we get into the matter. Even before breastfeeding is stopped kids are admitted to schools. “No teaching, just playful activities” and so on, are the justifications for sending kids to such institutions. In this age of nuclear families, parents have no other way except to depend on those schools to look after their children. Since both husband and wife have to go for work and no elders are with them in the home, they have no other choice. Sad thing is some people capitalize this situation and make money by starting “playschool” of sorts. The plight of small kids who cannot even express their feelings in words, and the nature of torture they have to undergo are beyond words. This doesn’t at all mean that all, or majority of play schools are like that.

As the school years (of course primary) start, many kids are busy with homework. Their plays and games are confined to video games and cellphone games. Most of these games are of destructive nature. This hamper their creativity and will have negative influence on them.

The fact that till recently people used to make toys with locally available things like paper, cardboard boxes, discarded containers, coconut palm leaf, stem of papaya leaf may be unbelievable to present-day children. They are accustomed to ‘set games’ and ready made toys. While making toys or something like that themselves, children were indirectly learning the lessons of visualization, procurement of items, execution of project etc. Games such as football, volleyball, basketball and cricket help inculcate discipline, team work, dedication etc.

Nowadays majority of families have one or two kids. Parents even go beyond their limits to fulfill the needs and demands of their kids. The underlying reason is that they want their children to grow without facing the sufferings they had to undergo. At the same time, as the aim of education is reduced to scoring high marks in examinations, “study, study” is what children hear from parents every now and then. Children are made to believe that low marks in examinations are the end of everything. Scoring low marks or failing in a subject will be unthinkable to them.

The advice of a psychologist is worth mentioning in this context. He tells parents to make sure that their kids are participating in games and plays. Not for the sake of physical fitness or something like that. But just to make them understand that there are failures also in life and they can overcome that situation and come off with flying colors.

Author : K Neeni

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