“Mom…..this guy is not allowing me to ride the bicycle. I’m the one who came first.” I peeped out through the kitchen window to see what’s happening. There, my 3 boys were fighting over a bicycle. My elder son, aged 12 is demanding that he is the one who came first and he needs to ride first. To this, my 2nd son, aged 10 doesn’t agree. The youngest one, 4 year old, is already seated on the back seat. I silently watched the situation. The argument went on for some time and finally they agreed upon time sharing; the elder one took the first turn and after 10 minutes, allowed the 2nd guy to take his ride; while the small one was seated on the back seat all the time enjoying the rides.
Being a mother of three boys, ages 4 to 12, this is a common situation I face. At times I feel difficult to manage their quarrels and fights. But as days passed, I realized that, instead of me breaking my brains to end the fights, let them resolve their fights and arguments. Most of the fights occur at the study table. Being seated on either side of a single study table, the arguments begin between the elder two boys on all the matters that surround them except their studies. To resolve the fights, I give them promises, but it won’t work. In the midst of all these, my 4-year-old enters their room and mess up their belongings. At first, they used to cry out loud, “Mom, the kid is disturbing us”. But once they find their mom is not coming for their help, they themselves find ways to engage the kid.
So, is it better to have private rooms or isolated study space for each child? Does privacy add more to their development? May not be a good idea….. Let them fight; let them argue. Let them observe and let them learn from each other. While I teach mathematics to my elder son, my 2nd son sitting next to him listens carefully. So he studies 4th-grade math while he is in 2nd grade itself.
Recollecting my old days with my 2 brothers, I can see the differences on how kids in my generation and present generation kids are being raised. I was brought up in a joint family; so I along with my brothers and cousins were raised together. We didn’t have separate rooms; we had less privacy but more fun. We shared whatever we had and cared for each other. We spent our leisure time exploring the outside world. We walked to our nearby school and shops or depended on public transport and thus we had more chance to interact with people around us.
But now, situations are different, families are small and we need to worry more about security, busy roads, easy access to drugs and pornography. Unfortunately, we cannot let our kids enjoy freely as we did in our days. Our kids naturally get attracted to gadgets for spending their leisure time and use social media as their means of interaction. In fact, we are trying to fill in a vacuum space in our kids, a vacuum of lacking genuine companionships, a vacuum that parents try to fill in by meeting what kids demand. We may be tempted to keep our kids away from the struggles that we had gone through in our days. In short, due to various reasons, kids are denied natural opportunities to experience certain important life skills that are naturally expected to learn through interactions in early ages. Later it affects them badly and recovery demands a huge price.
So what do you think? Should our kids be given a space to learn through quality interactions rather than being surrounded by toys and gadgets or social media? More human touch than materials, more sense of sharing, accepting, forgiving and ignoring? How is it possible? Small families, no siblings, busy parents, apartments and malls, here where do we find genuine human interactions for our kids? Probably our old days might give an answer. It was siblings, relatives and joint families helped our formation. But, what we can do now? The answer is simple, have genuine family friends where our kids can find their friends. We need to seek friends for our kids first and build a family friendship for mutual benefits, not the other way. Search among classmates, in play area, music classes or where ever our kids spend their time.
Moms, let us bring out some of the golden experiences from our childhood memories, the good old days we enjoyed, values & life skills learned through human interactions; reform and make it original for today and let our small ones experience it. Yes, creative moms can make their kids’ life special by making use of the enriching experiences lying around their own life.
First Published at Creative Moms Hub