The article “End of childhood” by Mini Krishnan highlights the importance of caring for the emotional health of children which is totally neglected in today's scenario. Parents have to realise that their children need a childhood and not necessarily perform always. Of course, they should take measures to expand their wards' knowledge to quality behaviourial health, taking care of their stress levels.
Dr. Sumithra Shanmugham
Obstetrician and gynaecologist, Chennai
Mini Krishnan has written a powerful and thought provoking article about the loss of childhood. Belief in one's intrinsic worth is not going to sell products and services, not going to fuel economic growth and hence it profits no one to promote this. Childhood is priceless, yet we are paying by the hour to chip away at it. The author has missed one point. While childhood is traded in far too early for adolescence, adolescence lingers on for decades. You will find many articles about the delayed onset of adulthood. Only when childhood is fully lived can one outgrow it and embrace the next stage of life.
This has reference to the three articles on reality TV shows involving children, published in the Magazine. Reality shows certainly give an opportunity to the children to showcase their talents and build confidence, overcoming shyness and stage fear. However, the hardship faced by them during arduous practice, preparation of costumes and other accessories and prolonged shooting schedules negate the advantages. At times children are subjected to adverse and sarcastic comments in the presence of audience which normally includes their parents, relatives, friends and other participants. It is sad to see the anguish and trauma suffered by the children on getting eliminated from the show. Quite a few children break down and start sobbing inconsolably. When such unfortunate children plead pathetically for votes from the viewers to boost up their rankings, the viewer feels a lump in his/ her throat. Is this what we call entertainment? It is only a gainful exercise for the TV channels and the greedy parents who crave for fame and quick money through their wards. Let us not dwarf the mental and psychological growth of the children and kill their innocence at an early stage.
Col. D. Davidson ( Retd )
The situation is so pathetic in the country today, particularly in the urban middle class, that anyone who can prove that he /she has not brought up his/her children in the ghoulish way described by Mini Krishnan should feel that he/ she has done a great job for the country i.e. halting the incessant addition to the list of dud kids by a margin of one. We should congratulate such people!
The articles and the accompanying picture powerfully portray the pathetic state of children in the present educational system in which their likes and dislikes, wishes and desires are simply brushed aside mercilessly and are stuffed with ‘knowledge' mechanically. The tragedy is that most of the parents also prefer this because, according to them, their children should be equipped, somehow or other, to effectively participate and perform in the rat race for marks and ranks. It is study, study and study all the time and there is no time to enjoy their childhood- playing, quarrelling (an integral part in the growth process) dreaming, interacting with others or just idling away. Individuality and creativity are not encouraged; rather, they are stifled and snuffed out. No doubt, the children today are made more knowledgeable and ‘intelligent' . But, is not being human and kind and playful more important than anything? Only then does life become richer for them and in turn for others.
D. Samuel Lawrence
The article “End of childhood?” raised some pertinent questions. I do not know how many of us have ever observed the gradual disappearance of the blossom and the butterfly in our children — the process of dreams freezing, hopes vanishing and the onset of a stony silence. We give our children a good second look when it is too late and wonder whatever happened to that little bundle of joy. We do not let them dream; we even deny that they have wings. Children are for us our own anxiety personified and sometimes our perpetual regrets too. As a teacher, I have seen this too many times to forget. It is time we paused and gave a sincere thought on the wonderfully apt lines of Kahlil Gibran “You may give them your love but not your thoughts/ For they have their own thoughts”.
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