Play Time With Children.

When we were children, we came back from school quite tired as, after regular classes, we had games and sports to spend some energy on in the school premises itself.

After reaching home, and being fortified with something to eat and drink, we went out again to play with some neighbourhood children either on the streets or in someone’s compound or may even be at a local municipal play ground. I see children doing this even now as I live in a neighbourhood with one residential school and three major day schools and many play schools for tots. In the local jogger’s park that I frequent, many young children come to play with their siblings and some do come with one of their parents, mostly the mothers. Youngsters simply found ways of entertaining themselves and grew up to be solid citizens.

The one thing that I do not see happening here, nor did I see this when I was growing up or when my son and his generation of children in the family were growing up is the big deal being made of parenting and parents not spending enough time with their children playing. In fact, I do not remember my father ever playing anything with me. Apart from teaching my son to swim and ride the bicycle, I did not spend much time with him playing. I think that my generation of Indians and the followings ones have grown up to be quite healthy individuals and without major hangups about relationships except in the occasional case of broken homes.

It therefore comes as a surprise to me that attempts are being made, perhaps deliberately by some strange academics(?) to make young parents feel guilty about the normal process of parenting, with all its ups and downs and frustrations. While many other things have been floating around and I have been bemusedly reading about them, this latest one has just given me the opportunity to throw open the topic to my readers to see if my thoughts are because of my nationality or whether it is a universal phenomenon.

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