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The meaning of childhood is changing......

Hello once more reader!

It has been a while since I have last discussed a topic with you. It’s been quite a busy time and I seemed to have been going through some writer’s block. With so much going on around me, I had very little time to stop and observe the world around me- waiting for an idea to come to my head. As you probably have guessed already, an idea has finally come to my head, and it is what I want to share with you all today.

I have recently seen a huge change when it comes to the definition of childhood. When I think back to my own, I remember running around in a diaper outside, giggling at everything I saw and just seeing the world as this one big jungle waiting for me to explore. I remember loving to be outside, creating my own games, playing with the sticks, mud, stones – whatever I could find in my surroundings. Even though those years of childhood are passing me by, I still have that same joy of being outside and exploring the great world. But I am noticing that the children of this generation do not feel the same way. They don’t see the world with such a gleam of wonder in their eye, instead they see it as something big and scary. They no longer run outside, curious about every little thing they may find. Instead they spend their time inside, almost locked away. But there were days where I also stayed inside, but I still would let my imagination run free. Today’s generation does something completely different, as they have something that I didn’t when I was their age. They have technology.

I have recently acquired a job which involves me taking care of a child. This child is around the age of 8. When I first met him, the mother explained to me that the child doesn’t like to go outside and much preferred the indoors. The child himself told me many times about he hated being outside, no matter the weather. When I met the child, the first thing that I noticed was his incredible amount of electronics. Just at the age of 8, this child already had a phone, a laptop, a tablet, an Xbox and a sort of game console. I was quite surprised to hear that all of that belonged to him. But that wasn’t what impacted me so.

I decided to take the child outside, ignoring his protests. I took him to the park, for a walk, talking to him so I could get to know him more, as well as having him move around. Even when we were outside, all he could talk about were his electronics and his video games. I myself had no idea about what he was talking about most of the time, as I am not the biggest fan of video games, but I still participated as well as I could. I noticed that after a while, the child began to complain about being outside. Everything seemed to be a problem, from the weather to the stones, he wasn’t happy with anything. I finally took him home and the first thing he did was rush into his room and turned on the Xbox. I decided to let him play for a bit, thinking he would play a game like Mario Kart. I was pretty surprised to see him turn on Call of Duty. It is an extremely graphic game, that I myself found to be quite grim, but the child didn’t flinch once. All you could hear from him was “DIE, DIE, DIE”. I found it quite strange to see this sort of behaviour in an eight-year-old. There was no fear of the graphics on the screen or any sign of empathy. What I observed next might have been small but it left quite an impact on me. I noticed the swift movements in his fingers. Without even looking at the controls he was able to move them in such quick movements. Just in the same way an adult may type on a keyboard (only after many years of experience) with such swiftness, the child was using the controller.

What I want to point out with this observation of mine, is that how we spend our childhoods is changing by generation. I know for sure that the way my childhood passed was different to my parents, and it will be the same for future generations. What I want you as a parent to take away from this, is to understand that even though technology and new entertainment is being developed, childhood is still about those small moments of magic. I definitely cherish the moments I spent outside, creating my own little worlds more than I cherish the moments I was watching TV. Don’t let children miss out on that innocence, especially now when the world is only getting scarier. Let children be children.

For the Kids

FG Child

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