Tuesday, January 17, 2023
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Speak Your MindUnlived childhoods

Unlived childhoods

Don’t you ever wonder how we used to spend our time as kids? Many people enjoy reminiscing about their youth. Of course, there are fewer people who would rather hide from their memories.

Not all of our childhood memories are rosy enough to be remembered. However, most people my age recall their childhood as enjoyable and happy. They would recall the games they had played, the tricks they had performed, and the times they had spent with family, friends, and loved ones.

People rarely remember the expensive items they received or the expensive places they visited more than the good times they spent with loved ones. Of course, good materials and places to spend time during childhood were also unimportant.

It appears that time spent with friends, family, and loved ones is more important than the material things we received as children.

Nowadays, it appears that the current generation’s childhood is filled with objects and materials that money can buy more than time spent with loved ones. This is especially true in households where money problems are low on the priority list.

Have you noticed how attached young children are to electronic objects, particularly mobile phones? Forget about the teenagers. Even children as young as two years old or even one year old have this strange addiction to mobile phones that I find difficult to understand.

In fact, we parents have contributed to this addiction by allowing our children to rely on objects for entertainment. We have discovered that we can use that addiction to our advantage, which is primarily getting time to breathe away from the children and having time to ourselves.

I am a parent, and I have used my phone as a nanny for my children on numerous occasions. And it works like a charm!

There is something about mobile phones that simply freezes them and allows them to remain stationary, providing us with the peace and quiet we crave. When I give one of my children my phone to watch the usual cartoons on YouTube, she goes into complete radio silence, and she is in a complete state of inexistence.

While I try to enjoy the much-needed calm and quiet by allowing my children to become engrossed in my phone, I must admit that I fight the guilt that comes with preventing my children from being real children who run around the house, scream out loud, mess up the house, sing and play with each other.

I feel guilty because I know deep down that my children should not be spending time on mobile phones. When asked why they would give their phones to their young children to watch cartoons or play games, many parents respond, “But they would not listen to me if I asked them to put the phone down. They can’t live without it.”

Is this, however, the case? Is it true that our children spend more time on their phones than they do with us or their siblings?

For me, the answer is emphatically no!

I once heard on TV that our children’s true desire is to spend time with us, the parents. “If you ask your young child to come over to you for a story or to play an in-person game with you while they are watching ‘Super Jojo’ on YouTube, you will notice that your child will immediately let go of the phone and come running to you,” it was said.

Why? Because spending time with you is their deepest desire.

I must say that I have tested this statement on my children under the age of three, and it works wonderfully. Without a doubt, if our young children enjoy staying glued to our phones, it is due to our failure to break that addiction.

In other words, our children are always on their phones due to our selfishness. If anyone is to blame, it is the parents, and only the parents. We’ve just been so selfish that we are depriving them of a normal childhood. And, without a doubt, a childhood spent relying on mobile phones for entertainment is not one that the child will cherish as they grow older.

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