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How a child’s childhood has changed over the years.

We often look in the past and wonder how they lived without technological advancements? We often become nostalgic about our lives as children and compare them to the current world.

Childhood is a stage in life between infancy and youth. The experiences the kids have in their childhood years make them. People often see changes as beneficial and improving a child’s life. However, not all changes are good. There are some downsides to these changes as well. it is easy to forget the notions of childhood have changed over the past years. 

In earlier days, middle-class and lower-class families’ children started working to help their families. They worked in mills, industries, or some on their farms. As they got a bit older, they took care of their younger siblings. Girls, as they grew up, learned sewing, cooking, washing clothes, and other things needed to take care of the household. Education opportunities were limited and some were available only for boys.

In later years, education open up for girls and boys, and towns were prospering. This meant family didn’t have to depend on their child’s extra wages and only the father’s income was sufficient. Children started studying and playing after school instead of worrying about the chores. Games like hide-and-seek, blindfolding, etc. were played. Badminton, cricket, carrom, and other such games made their way into the children’s lives.

Much of the money today, is spent on taking care of and providing good health and life for the children. Thus, the toys and entertainment industries grew. Today, one can buy an expensive video game, watch shows made for children, and buy breakfast snacks and other toys advertised to attract a child. Schools and education became a necessity for the children. Along with the cultural change, with new technology, families adapted to new methods, and childhood changed. 

Kids spend more time on screen today than their elders did. For them, childhood was a complete outdoor play. This is a loss and makes it difficult for the child to create his own identity. It does bring the child closer to their parents but at a cost. 

Parents have fewer children and thus worry about the potential risks to their children. They are better educated and this makes them more sensitive to the risks than their elders. We are living in a society that focuses on not only the physical but also the mental health of a child. It is a good thing in many ways but not perfect. It is not easy being a parent today as we have many single parents of even dual-working households. 

Children today are exposed to the internet very early on in their lives and have access to more things than people did earlier. Staying connected with a friend is much easier now with texting. Talking to relatives was only over the summer vacations and something we looked forward to and not just staying connected on video calls. 

Children spend more time playing alone on video games, computers, and phones rather than outdoor games. This results in children having less physical fitness than the earlier generation. 

The technological advancements, although have many cons, they also have benefits. It helps us stay connected over a longer distance. This very much helped in the pandemic when traveling anywhere was prohibited and many people were quarantined alone. 

How does it affect education?

We have stopped treating kids like kids and want them to learn more than age-appropriate things. In doing so, we have taken away their childhood. Kids learn at a great pace, and not because they are taught but because they grew and so did their brain capacity. Parents these days find it difficult to let their children have the required freedom when they belong to a culture of control. 

Students when asked what their memorable time spent in school was, answered with the extra-curricular activities. The point is, that students, enjoy the activities more than the lectures they sat in, more than the books they read. This should make us realize that the education system needs to be immersive. The more the students feel their presence in the class the more easily they could learn. 

This goes with saying that there is no necessity to technologize the whole education, rather use the technology for the betterment of education and students’ learning. 

Conclusion:

The changes mentioned above show that we, as a society, have become child-centered. As children are the primary concern of many public services, and also the sole thing that gives meaning to their parents’ life.

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