THE YEARS OF CHILDHOOD
A child is the light of every home. The arrival of a child is the occasion for celebration – distribution of sweets, pleasantries and general merriment. The child becomes the apple in the eyes of everyone in the household. We all should remember that we too were children once upon a time. We too were petted by elders when we were youngsters. Then why do we put an undue burden on our children’s progress to good health, by pressurising them with books and more books? The answer perhaps lies in our greed to gain supremacy over others around us. We barter the childhood years of our children for a pittance. These years, when once lost, can never be regained. I am reminded of the famous lines of the Romantic poet P. B. Shelley: “We look before and after, and pine for what is not”. Childhood years are those where the child develops a relationship with others, besides its parents, which, in most cases, remain etched in the memory long after one’s childhood is gone forever. Yet look around you and you’d find every child suffering from some ailment or the other. Some are suffering from obesity, some from shoulder aches and some from juvenile delinquency. Have we, the so-called conscious elders, ever wondered why things have come to such a pass? How we can rectify our mistakes so that our children learn a better lesson from us?The modern junk food habits, found and diagnosed by paediatricians, have been found to be the principal cause for obesity found among children. Potato chips from fast food manufacturers of multinational companies are ruling the roost while the sun is shining. Working mothers hardly have an option but to cram the lunch boxes of their kids with junk food. Modern nuclear families are the worst sufferers of this problem. In other cases, we find children carrying huge bags, stuffed with textbooks. So much so that, they begin to show symptoms of shoulder problems like stiff neck etc. We must realise that all work and no play would make our children a very dull generation. Give plenty of room to your children to play in the open. Watch him/her grow as a healthy and wise youngster. Juvenile cases of delinquency are on the rise in recent years. Both, government as well as non-government organisations, are showing serious concerns about it. So if we perform the needful from our own side, we can help our country progress and prosper towards a better future. We should encourage children to watch such television channels like the Animal Planet, National Geographic, History and the Discovery Channel so as to build their IQs. We must supervise over the quality of food that our children intake in a single day. Junk food should be avoided at all costs.Inculcating healthy food habits, building a good reading inclination and encouraging them towards more extra-curricular activities are our responsibilities. If we don’t follow the right path towards the upbringing of very own children, how can we blame others when they deviate from the right path? First, rectify yourselves. Only then guide your children towards a better and fulfilling life.