Tonight I am writing about some issues I am concerned with, as a professional of Human Development and taking a break from the regular chantings of my personal dramas....
A major concern in the development of children in today's context is the ever increasing trend of video games, social networking, virtual friends and the resonating effect of media that affects these innocent minds in ways which we can never imagine. Gone are the days when kids get together in the afternoons to play those indigenous sports which was passed on to generations. As a kid, my favourite was playing with small pebbles which I later realised contributes to fine motor reflexes of the hands and better co-ordination of the eye and hand movement. Similarly, traditional games of sticks, hopping around in one leg by throwing a piece of slate, group games of thief and soldiers, chasing each other on piggy rides has its own significance leading to the development of gross muscles, fine muscles and most importantly socialization of children of heterogeneous and homogeneous age-groups. Socialization process and interaction among children had an altogether different meaning a decade ago.
These traditional games and sports are a thing of the past as unprecedented changes have taken place in our society as a consequence of globalisation and technological revolution. Child rearing practices have changed eventually. The saying "Spare the rod, spoil the child" is one of the worst quote in today's context. In cities, nonavailability of space has led to fewer outdoor sports which serve as one of the most important causal factor for childhood obesity. All the more kids are confined in their homes with uncensored exposure to media and internet. Video games and internet have substituted the traditional games. Thus, a child's cognitive development is enhanced through such activities and problem solving capacities is refined but an even greater aspect of the physical development remains uncertain. For the well-being of a child, all round development is important in terms of - physical, social, emotional, language, cognitive and motor development. At such, parents, teachers and care takers have the absolute role as they are the first environment a growing child interacts with.
Social change is an inevitable process. For a society to develop we need to sow the good seeds to the growing generation. Being a slave to change mindlessly is a not a choice we can risk. Understanding the changing needs of the child and empowering ourselves with the prerequisite knowledge of child development and catering to their needs is perhaps the best investment which we can make for ourselves, for our family and for the society.
Come lets make the world a better place for our kids!! :)