If our education is based on more experiential learning, imagine the fun we would have experienced during our school and college years!
During our recent trip to the Viking Ship Museum in Denmark, I came across a “class” inside the museum. What made this class unique was the fun all were having. The costumed drama being enacted by a couple of students before their teacher and classmates was entertainment in its best form.
I was delighted to see the laughter and the active interaction between the children and their teacher during this session.
Parents can incorporate this type of learning at home as well. Apart from spending time with our children, we get to engage them, teach them and we all learn in the process. This is even more so during this age of electronic media entertainment.
Spending time with children and inviting them to join in planning family activities are certain to divert their interest from video games and social networks.
Institutions like the American Academy of Pediatrics have recommended restricting T.V viewing time for children. Children who spend hours staring at the television screen naturally have inadequate time or inclination for physical exercise. They fail to cultivate an interest in reading, sports and games – in short, they risk drifting away from the mainstream of life.
Undesirable behavior like aggression, disinterest in others or the environment, poor social skills are also observed as further consequences of this dependency on electronic media.
Social media interaction has also opened unhealthy opportunities for aggressors and bullies. Unlike in the past when family, friends and the society provided a barricade against such unwelcome intrusions and attacks, today our children are vulnerable – they would rather suffer in silence and isolation than muster the strength to seek help that is so immensely available.
Participation in family chores encourages interaction and generates a sense of responsibility to the family in the child’s mind. It is at home that a child begins to learn about adjustments, values, helping each other and team work. With affluence and luxurious lifestyles, children’s involvement in household activities and chores is next to nil in many families.
When a home environment emerges as one where there are no expectations from the child for its smooth function, often, there arises an attitude in the child of blissful and selfish contentment. This in turn, leads the child to a higher probability of being more dissatisfied with life and people as an adult.
Every generation enjoys lamenting about the state of the current generation of children. As a parent, I believe there exists a dire need for a closer look at the privileges and responsibilities of parenthood. It is essentially our wish to make our children’s lives as comfortable and enjoyable as possible and we do our best to fulfill that wish.
Let us do it right so that our children experience happiness, as a state of mind they are personally responsible for – a fruit of their own labor, not offered to them on a platter by their parents.
Let us help our children to be happy – for life.