Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Let the children play

I was very happy that so many people liked my previous post: It’s better late than never for freelance translators. However, I would like to point out that while for most things in life it’s better late than never, there are some things that must happen at the correct moment. But before I continue, I’d like to say that while I haven’t got children myself, I used to be a child, and people who are not parents should not be excluded from the discussion a priori. All voices have something to contribute, right?

So, what I’m trying to say is that while it is possible to do a lot of things later in life, it is impossible to relive your childhood. That’s why for me it goes without saying that no-one should mess with a child’s childhood.

My own childhood is a very special place that I enjoy to revisit quite often. I am capable of locating this precious feeling of being a child. I can recall how it feels to be open to every possibility, how it feels to be fresh, innocent and receptive. A certain song, a comic book, a movie can send me straight back to that special place, giving me at the same time a new lease of life, and strength to keep going. I can remember exactly what excited me as a child: a new book, learning English, exploring geography and astronomy… and this excitement is ever alive with me, even in my darkest moments.

It is impossible to experience being a child again. Our childhood happens only once. That’s why it is extremely important to let children be children. They are entitled to have this special place of their childhood to accompany them as adults. Some people don’t understand it. That’s why we see certain parents relying on their children, assigning to them roles and responsibilities that the children cannot resume. Usually these parents feel especially ‘proud’ of their little ‘lambs dressed as muttons’. But that’s just not right.

Childhood is about making mistakes. About playing. About being innocent. About exploring the world. About making silly declarations or ludicrous revolutions. I know that it is very difficult to become a good parent and that we should not judge. But when you think that it is impossible to become a child ever again, you realise that, after keeping children healthy and fed and clean, we must protect their childhood. Let the children play.

3 comments:

Sofia Polykreti said...

I would like to mention that this post was inspired by another blog post/question (in Greek, link: http://healthcouncelling.blogspot.gr/2014/03/blog-post_13.html) where a father complains about his ex-wife, describing how she is clinging to her 12-year old son for support after their divorce. The boy is described as 'mature' and 'intelligent/precocious'; however I can't help wondering whether it would be better if the mother supported the boy -in such a sensitive period of his life- and not the other way round...

magda_p said...

Children learn about the world through play. The more they play they more the learn. It's like a cycle that needs to be completed. If they don't play "enough", then a piece might be missing. And that could eventually pop up in the middle of nowhere in later life.

I'm no expert on kids, I'm just a mom who's learning along the way but this is how I feel about it.

Lovely topic.

Have fun tomorrow and send me pics! Say hi to all the girls on my behalf.

:)

Sofia Polykreti said...

What an insightful comment! Thank you very much. The link between playing and learning is very important indeed!