Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Children See, Children Do

Standing at the balcony of my house the other night, I saw my neighbor’s twins wandering along
the pavement, playing and laughing aloud. Dressed neatly, they were enjoying their own selves
while waiting for their parents to take them out for dinner. The scenario might have remained
a pleasing one and not have astounded me if I were not to see what happened the next moment.

What caught my eyes was one of the twins grabbing a dumped cloth lying on the street and using
it to clean the nearby car’s windscreen. These children’s parents were a psychiatrist and a banker
by profession and the kiddos were only five years of age.

“What are you doing, Rohail?”, the girl twin asked.

“That’s what the other children do on the streets. That’s what children are supposed to do.
Haven’t you seen?”, was Rohail’s reply.

“Oh, are you talking about the ones whom we saw that day on the way to Khala’s place?”

“Yes yes, I am! Come on, grab a piece of cloth for yourself too. It’s fun, Raheen!”

And finally, they both got themselves engaged in that activity. Moving from one car to the other,
they expressed joy in cleaning the cars. Encountering such an unusual happening, I couldn’t
think of what I was supposed to do. On a second thought, I decided to bring it under their
parents’ knowledge. I rushed towards the gate and towards their house. By the time I reached,
they were already in their parking lot with the children, before they could bump into the kids’

Child labor is yet another debate and the issue seems invincible within itself, at least apparently.
However, it is never about the child of a doctor, a businessman or an office clerk; it is about the
tendency of the child’s mind to grow at the earliest stages. Moreover, what left me appalled in
the whole episode was the fact that a child observes, learns, adapts and applies what he comes
across in his routine. He further encourages other children to do the same. Having negligible
understanding and zero judgment, children can not be expected to apprehend everything they
encounter and thus, there lies a huge responsibility on part of the parents to help mold their
minds for the better, right from the beginning.

Neuroscience, also advocates that it is in the earliest years of childhood that the capacities of
young people, who then grow up, are best developed. This is the reason we see an emphasis on
projects like Early Childhood Development Centers worldwide.

Gone are the times when parents used to think of their children to turn up to a certain age to
begin having with them the so called wisdom talk. Children learn about things way before
they ought to. And here, I am not advocating the idea of getting them accustomed to anything
and everything. Yet, there are matters that the children must be guided upon, like the one just mentioned. And yes, at this stage only!


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