At the risk of sounding like I’ve turned into my parents and grandparents, I totally understand where people are coming from when they reminisce about the good old days. Life just tends to get faster and faster the more we develop as the human race and the more global and connected our world gets. Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for clever advancements in the technology we use to make our lives easier and better, but the more time I spend with children of different ages (whether hosting guests with kids, babysitting, or raising my own children), the more I realise how children are increasingly being robbed of liberty to be kids.
Perhaps as a grown-up I’d be the last person to relate to the reality of what it means to be a child in the modern day era, but it really bothers me just how children are increasingly having their childhood shortened with the pace at which they’re expected to “grow.” You see it in what would otherwise be simple activities, like perhaps bouncing nursery ideas off older siblings and enlisting their input as to the decorations they’d love to have for their soon-to-arrive younger brother or sister’s rooms. That innocent and pure creativity that comes with being a child seems to have been replaced by overly commercialised brands and movie franchises, such as their superheroes or anything else really which they’ve picked up watching television.
Children don’t even play with things like marbles anymore and they’re disturbingly becoming self-conscious of the way they look way too early in their lives, I think. As a result, none of those authentic childhood experiences which come with returning indoors drenched in mud – just in time for a bath and dinner – are contributing to early childhood development and transition into early adulthood.
The time inevitably comes when children realise that Santa is in actual fact their parents and that the tooth-fairy doesn’t really exist, but it shouldn’t come too soon. Children need to learn how to be kids again – they need less exposure to the world through tablet and Smartphone screens and more exposure to a world where they never stop asking that annoying “why?” question. They need more exposure to a world where their innocence is protected for longer. One way of making provision for this is in the decoration of your children’s bedrooms. Children’s bedrooms are their sanctuary and place of retreat. Prolonged exposure to a world which allows them the freedom to be kids will have that freedom recreated in more areas of their lives.