Children from affluent families nowadays in the developed and developing countries of the world go through childhood without experiencing the joy, thrill, excitement and parental love that accompanies childhood.
They go through childhood without childhood going through them; their childhood is aborted. They are hurried through childhood, rushed into taking adult tasks and decisions at a very early age. The effects are not always dramatic or so tragic, but they can be profound and long-lasting.
Parents are the culprits in this case, though we understand that they are eager to see their children succeed. When that eagerness turns into anxiety, parents do overload their children, pushing them too hard too soon. For instance, it is becoming prevalent for parents to enrol their children in after-school activities and extra-classes after school, where personal tutoring is added. Play-time is reduced to the minimum or sometimes overlooked.
These parents seem to forget that playing-time is also part of childhood. The adage “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy,” appears to be out-dated to these parents. Of course, it is not wrong to encourage a child`s talents or interests.
However, there is a danger of excess when some children seem to have as many pressures as complete adults do. Before their children are even born, these parents have already located a very good pre-school and enrolled their unborn babies there. This sometimes is the first sign of anxiety for the success of their children.
These parents also provide every possible material comfort (electronic gadgets, personal computers, smartphones, tablets, all kinds of toys, etc.) for their children, believing that these things would guarantee the children`s happiness, but not knowing that they are doing the opposite. Often, many children raised in this way are involved in drinking, drugs, and rebellious behavior. They fume with resentment because they feel neglected and betrayed.
Although these children have many material luxuries and first-class education, they lack the essential ingredients of a good childhood; parental love and attention, and enough play-time with their mates. These children also lack parental guidance, direction, and discipline.
Sooner than later, they would face adult questions about life, which they have little or no preparation to answer. They would likely obtain their answers from peers or TV or movie stars and characters. The results are mistakes made by these children that often bring childhood to an abrupt tragic end.
In conclusion, it is without a doubt that rushing children through childhood, which amounts to aborting their childhood is a very dangerous practice that should be avoided by parents in this modern time.
By Patrick Onuoha
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