Babies, Kids, Teens, Adults, and Seniors. Each of these titles represents a season in your life. For kids, that season would be childhood, that magical time between three years old and eleven years old that children take for granted and adults wish they could return to.
Childhood is so essential for a child's development that the government stepped in and gave children the right to a childhood. The government passed child labor laws, as well as laws against exploiting children in order to protect them and keep that time of their lives free for healthy play and growth.
Play is essential to growth. Areas such as emotional, social, physical, and cognitive health are reliant on childhood play. But today, our children are either giving up or losing their childhood to other pursuits.
Childhood is supposed to be free from overwhelming stress and responsibilities. Certain types of stress and responsibilities are healthy, but they should occur in small doses in a healthy environment. School is an excellent example. It's the overwhelming stress and responsibilities that can take our children's childhood away that we want to avoid.
Some children have voluntarily exchanged their childhoods for the virtual world. Gaming and virtual reality have become a serious problem for our youth. The time children spend in front of a gaming system or computer takes away from the physical and social development that is vital to healthy growth and maturity.
In addition, parents and teachers have begun promoting academics to unhealthy degrees. Worry about children falling behind has spurred many teachers and parents to overload children with extra classes and homework, which takes away from children's free time, not just at home, but in school as well. Recesses and even physical education have been shortened and sometimes even canceled, replaced instead with more time for academics.
Today, there is also an abundance of extracurricular opportunities for children. Sports, clubs, and academic organizations are now taking time away from childhood pursuits, as well. By themselves, these activities are great, but they need to be enjoyed in healthy doses.
When all of our children's free time is taken away due to classes, homework, sports, and clubs, they miss out on all the important aspects of their childhood. As parents, we need to make sure our children experience healthy childhoods because one day, our children will be adults. They will be our leaders, teachers, neighbors, and members of our communities.
A healthy childhood sets children up for learning and developmental success in school and life. Children who have experienced a healthy childhood will thrive as adolescents and later on as adults.
Encourage your children to play and enjoy their childhood. Create positive experiences for your children all throughout their childhood,and your children will reap the rewards long-term. Childhood is a one-time thing. You only get to do it once in your life. You can't go back and redo it. So parents, please make sure that your children get the right childhood, to begin with.