October 27, 2017

Let go off the fear in childhood

We keep hearing phrases like:

People explore themselves in their 20s.

We get to see life only when we are away from our home.

We learn life only when we step outside the house.

If the learning about oneself was a continuous process since childhood, then it should have been definitely healthy. But, what if this learning about one's own self happened only when they were outside their homes OR in their 20s just because their childhood was spent all tied up in fear?

Why wasn't the childhood spent in knowing the self. Exploring one's own self and exploring the world is a continuous process that happens right from birth. If someone noticed it or not, it suddenly stops happening right when formal schooling starts. The child is enrolled for the rat race. All that the child has in his plate to do, are things like:

Category A
Class work
Home work
Prepare for tests
Score marks
Score ranks

Category B
Work book
Crafts
Art
Hobby class

the ratio A:B keeps increasing with higher classes, where B complete disappears once the child has reached 8th grade in school.

Even if the category B was done in primary and middle school, it was mainly for the marks assigned for the project and mostly done by parents with minimal effort from children. Where does the innate curiosity of children disappear once they start formal schooling?

Once schooling starts, children mainly differentiate their work into two categories - school and play. All the work that comes from school is either being avoided or being done just for the marks.
All that children are more interested in is play. Because humans are designed to learn from play and daily life. You cannot separate learning from living.

A child who goes to school is already burdened so much with rules, instructions, yelling, scolding, punishments, time outs, marks, mugging, name calling, name shaming, bullying, that once she is away from school, she is more interested in spending time in play and that is where the differentiation has just begun. Whereas, ideally, play is not different from learning. Playing is learning. Living is learning.

The early childhood(upto 5 years) is spent in fear of parents and strangers. The strangers that would pick the child away if food is not eaten or if the child is found to be mischievous in the eye of parent. From 6 years, life is led in fear of teachers/parents/ranks/society. And, in the 20s or when the child goes outside home for college is when the child is on his own to think and act according to her decisions. That is when she starts realising how her life passed by and what she really wants to do in life.

What if this space was provided by parents at home itself during the childhood years? There is plenty of time available for children to explore themselves. Why should they lead their precious time in fear of not being in par with everyone in whatever activity it is?

I have already written on how children are being forced/threatened to learn what their parents wish for here. Isn't learning a natural process? Shouldn't the learner fall in love with what they are learning? Why should there be threat? Why should there be fear? Why can't there be love? Why is love so much feared about? Seriously, why is it rooted in people's mind that 'too much love spoils'? Can't too much love teach responsibility? Can't too much love build trust?


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