Every time I hear somebody saying “children are our future,” I always end up suppressing my urge to yell “really?” It’s not that I don’t actually believe children being our future; it’s just that I have hard time accepting that parents could be so careless about the upbringing of their children when they are clearly aware about how important their future is, important to them as parents as well as important to the country for the coming years.
Before I start expressing my thoughts, I would like to ask my readers few questions: How many parents push their children to play in playgrounds instead of playing video games at home? How many parents actually monitor how many hours their children are spending before TV or computers? How many parents resist their children’s tantrums to have junk food?
First of all, let me be clear that I am not criticizing parents. I am single; I don’t have any kids. I don't have any authority to tell anyone how they should raise their kids. However, whenever I see parents around me feeding junk food to their children due to lack of time, I pity those kids. I too am a child of a working mother. I have seen my mom juggling housework, cooking and office presentations. Although it was difficult, my parents never compromised on our health by feeding us junk food.
I still remember how I used to resent my parents when they refused to let me use Kinetic we had when I was in the secondary school. All my friends and classmates were using two-wheelers, and there I was, either trudging to the school or riding a bicycle. Once when I tried to plead my case stating the lack of time due to tuition and homework, I was grudgingly given the option of our car driver dropping me off to tuition classes. But at the same time, it was made clear that I HAD to go to school on bicycle or by walking. Needless to say that the discussion didn't go down well. Today when I look back at those days, I appreciate my parents’ decision. They knew that my body needed little bit of exercise daily for better health.
And I appreciate my parents’ upbringing all over again when I see today’s kids physically weak, bloated and unnecessarily pampered.
In my apartment building, there’s this 6 year old kid who’s addicted to a game called “Subway Surfer.” When I learnt about his addiction, I was astounded because this game is only available in smart phones. How does he has the access to a smart phone? After talking to my mom, I came to know that whenever the kid threw any kind of tantrum, his mother would give him her iPad to play with. Result: the kid got addicted to mobile games; he would rather sit and play with his mother’s mobile than go to the playground and play with other children of his age. Pitiful, isn't it? I may not be a mother but my common sense does dictate that this is absolutely horrible upbringing.
Whenever I see such parents, I have to suppress my urge to shoot them. Shoot them for their stupidity to play with their children’s growth, both physically and intellectually.
So what are my ideas on child rearing? Well, they are simple enough. I believe that parents should:
- Make their children spend at least an hour in open playground playing games that makes them run and jump.
- Make them join sports classes that they like as that will cultivate a love for exercise.
- Discourage excessive use of technology, including TV and computers. Spending couple of hours watching cartoon on TV and searching the Internet to complete a school project is fine, but anything beyond that would hook them in.
- Make their children ride bicycle to school. This will help them in their physical growth.
- Avoid feeding junk food, including ready-to-eat food packets, instant soups, maggi and maida bread. Once in a while is okay, but on regular basis that should be an absolute no-no.
- Stop them eating excessively, no matter whether it's juice, fruits, home-made rotis or Domino's pizza. Anything in excess is always harmful.
- Try to cultivate habit of eating healthy meals at the right time.
I firmly believe that if parents follow these simple steps, their children won't ever need doctors, provided there are no other unavoidable physical issues. If you have anything to add to these points, please do share it with me. I would love to hear from you.