Monday, July 13, 2020 | ePaper

Quality Time

Children And Their Early Childhood

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Gazi Shariful Hasan :
Children from birth to adulthood need time and attention from their parents. Sometimes parents become so anxious to raise a 'successful' child that they overlook the importance of spending quality time with their children in their childhood. These activities create a sense among kids that they are important to their parents and an object of love to them. They can share their thoughts and express opinion on different issues which give an opportunity to the parents to know the strengths and weaknesses in them and guide them accordingly. A strong bond built as a consequence of such quality time which may be the incidence of emotional and behavioural problems in children. It fosters communication among family members, provides positive reinforcement and teaches social and cognitive skills.
If both the parents work outside, then just imagine how much of their time is spent for kids. A working Mom remains busy with cooking, washing, feeding, cleaning, and looking after family members on top of her office work. After returning from office a working Dad is engaged with TV channels, talk shows, facebook and occasionally some household works. Where is the time for children? On the other hand, school going children have their school, home tasks, coaching and some have extracurricular activities like art-culture.  Lack of attention to children also occurs in case of home-maker Moms if they are crazy for TV serials, shopping and outing- what the lonely or bored children can do. Innumerable studies reveal several negative outcomes when the child or adolescent does not receive the right love, attention, and guidance from parents. A new study published in the Journal of Family Issues, led by Brown University sociologist Gregory Elliott shows that adolescents who believe they matter to their families are less likely to threaten or engage in violence against family members.
In this context we can recall comment of the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama where he says, 'Science and technology, though capable of creating immeasurable material comfort, cannot replace the age-old spiritual and humanitarian values that have largely shaped world civilization …. Thus it is only logical to try to strike a balance between material developments on the one hand and the development of spiritual, human values on the other. In order to bring about this great adjustment, we need to revive our humanitarian values'.
Parents can play the most crucial role in revitalizing these values by ensuring quality time for children. Your company may turn your dining table, kitchen, veranda, front yard and even rooftop into class room. During the meal, children and adolescents can be encouraged to talk about what is interesting to them, and not necessarily the usual topics like school and work. Parents can do some regular activities with their children for their development. Parents should have a daily "connect" time with their child whichever suitable for them they can; create a special ritual for themselves and their child-something that can be done every day; thay can tell their children that they love them every day; reinforce positive behaviour. Parents can make and eat meals with their children whenever possible and can schedule time for doing any activity according to the children's choice.
Gardening is the most interesting activity which children enjoy the highest. It gives the touch of green and teaches them the basic idea about plantation such as how a big tree is grown from a petite seed, how we obtain flowers, fruits and vegetables from plants and so on. This will create a sense of love and care for nature and environment. Religious activities such as praying together or reading holy scripts has various effects including bringing mental peace, trust on the Creator, and the most important thing is strengthening moral character of the children. Once they know the lessons from religion that to tell a lie is a great sin or cheating others is punishable offence, they will at least think twice in doing so.
Outdoor activities such as hiking, walking, bicycling, picnic, or camping together are some other ways of enjoying time together. For younger children, parents need to get in the habit of reading. For the adolescents parents need to know what books they are reading or parents can read it themselves and then parents can discuss it together. For toddler, parents can draw some outline and the kids will definitely enjoy colouring them. It might be a circle or triangle or a cat or a dog or a tree.  
Family time should be an amusing and agreeable way to raise healthy and happy children. In spite of having a terrible busy schedule both at home and outside, it is extremely important to keep some time for the kids and children. This is because; parents are the persons whom they need in every way. Parents are the safe haven for the children, their sanctuary, and sources of all contentment in life. Therefore, parents should not forget to ensure a joyous childhood for their little angels.

 (Gazi Shariful Hasan writes for PID)

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