Vanishing Childhood

Ashok Sharma
Childhood is a precious period of growth and development.It is also a period of heightened emotional, mental and psychological development, .So the children at this stage need time to grow and mature emotiomally to face up life as it unfolds in the coming years.But it is shocking that the fast pace of modern life coupled with high aspirations and unrealistic dreams of parents are taking away the precious years of innocence of childhood.They are pressurised to learn to read and write even before they can walk and outperform the other kids in the class.A modern child, even at the age of three or four is sent to the tutor and forced to show extraordinary performance in school.The child is not allowed to enjoy his childhood with the result that his mental and emotional development is impaired Many parents  wish to create superkids pressurising their children into beoming premature adults and over competitive.The result is that the current generation of children is drifting away from nature and devoting more time to books, television, internet, ipods and other electronic gadgets.All this is leading them to hurry through life.Today a boy of ten doesn’t want to be seen as a child thanks to the overexposure due to media, marketing, internet and peer pressure.They are growing up so fast that they stop being childlike at a younger age.These gadgets and peer pressure on children are ending their innocence much earlier.The boys want to be macho after their idols in sports ,movies  much before they are physically and emotionally ready for it.They start emulating their heroes in sports, movies etcand acting like themeven at the tender age of five or six.The girls  too become conscious about their beauty, dress and fashion before time and try everything to look thin and beautiful like models and actresses in the tinsel world..
Children become so attracted towards fashion and films that they they get distracted from their studies and miss their classes.They know the names of top brands better than their parents do.Not only this, modern children are bombarded with sexual images in advertisements, television and movies and they are absorbing all such information in their minds.So no wonder that they are more  aware about  sex and other such activities than their predecessers.
Thus the need of the hour is to rethink about the vanishing childhood and take urgent measures to protect this precious period of time and avoid putting pressure on the children to grow up too fast.Parents should let children be children.It must be remembered that emotional maturation cannot be accelerated. They may act grown up but they don’t feel grown up. Childhood is a significant part of life and it must be respected and valued.Kids are entitled to their childhood and we shouldn’t hurry them up through their    life.The sooner it is realised, the better it will be for the proper growth and development of our children.
(The author is Lecturer in English,  Govt.Hr. Sec.School, Barolla ( Udhampur).