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Monday, May 1, 2017

How do modern day kids spend time ? and what Thiruvallikkeni kids do !!!

All work and no play makes one dull !! ~ does your children go out to play – do they have the place ? the attitude ? and how much do you allow / encourage them to play ???

People over 40 may  appreciate this more … others too perhaps can! .. – When we grew up -  things were not plentiful  – lesser opportunities, lesser wealth, lesser play material, lesser food items, lesser fees ……………….. lesser controls and regulations too… !! – most children of those days did not complain or were not allowed to complain – ate whatever was given, wore what was available, shared things and even dress with cousins;  walked to schools, and later went in public transport ….. life was different those days – one would exclaim !!!

As it transformed, we grew up, went to college, got employed, got married, mostly stayed away from friends and siblings, begot children ……….. and when  children (mostly one or at the most two in a family) grow -  many are worried even for simple day to day occurrences.  When the child  goes out – the present day middle class parents are worried  of sending their son/daughter alone – numerous Qs run in the mind ……. whether they would be able to go places on their own  - how will they travel, will they be able to face the outside environ, would they properly cross the road wary of the traffic, get into the right bus / train and return in time ? …… and all this were happening without much ado in those days !!

Do you pride yourself as one of those new age parents, indulgent yet strict as per the needs of the situation? Do you worry endlessly and even stays up till your kid get home………  Do you always tell your child ‘what to do and what not to’  just to 'keep them safe'? … Every parent would have their own style of parenting.  Modern Counsellor would say that the parent should respect the emotion of the children.  The modern day children are demanding and at times downright threatening. (emotional blackmailing!) Parenting (or child rearing) -  the process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development of a child is complex ~ and parent perhaps is not control of the situation. Unlike the education or training, parenting skills cannot be learnt in a classroom nor read in any standard book. One needs to constantly upgrade their skills.

There is something known as "cotton wool culture" -  of over-protecting children which now researchers say that  has contributed to a decline in freedom for them to play, heath and ability to perform of their own.   In an article in Daily Mail in Feb 14, it was stated that protective parents are stopping their children from playing sports because of fears they could be injured.  We complain that now-a-days children are not involved in outdoor sports.   One in seven parents said they would stop their child playing rugby because of the possibility of injury, as health campaigners criticised the 'cotton wool culture' and warned activity was essential to children.

Another method is ‘helicopter parent’ (also cosseting parent) – of a parent who pays extremely close attention to a child's or children's experiences and problems, particularly at educational institutions. Helicopter parents are so named because, like helicopters, they hover overhead. 

…. What sort of parent are you ? –  fathers,  do you really know which standard your ward is studying (Can you tell the Class Section and roll No. of your son / daughter)  … how he/she is performing … do you spend quality time with them – how much time you devote to them – do you play with them and do you get to talk to them regularly ….

Some random thoughts…. At a time, when modern children get glued to TV and computer,  kids of Triplicane even in their play think of God.  For 10 days from Apr 12 to 20th, it was Chithirai Brahmothsavam at Thiruvallikkeni divyadesam; followed immediately by 10 days Sahasrabdi [millennium] celebrations for Acharyar Swami Ramanujar.  Procession of Perumal takes place both in the morning and evening (early morning and late nights !)  - you can see so many youngsters actively engaged in all activities and there are these fantastic kids…..

In Srivaishnava divyadesams, there is this lovable “Chinna perumal’ – adorable kids carry their own Perumal beautifully decorated matching the Presiding deity in the same vahanams, often resembling the Original ! – and  it is great bliss to watch and observe them -  and you can feel their involvement and commitment….  ,.. .. it is a different World out here.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
29th Apr 2017

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