30 January 2014 by Soph
“Give childhood back to children”
No, our children don’t need more school. They need more play. If we care about our children and future generations, we must reverse the horrid trend that has been occurring over the past half century. We must give childhood back to children. Children must be allowed to follow their inborn drives to play and explore, so that they can grow into intellectually, socially, emotionally and physically strong and resilient adults. The Chinese are finally beginning to realise this, and so should we.
If indeed (some of) the Chinese (in China) are starting to realise this, from what I’ve seen and heard, most of the ethnic Chinese in the rest of Australasia have not. And we need to, for the sake of our kids and our future selves.
A long while ago, I read an article that said kids should be allowed to get bored sometimes because that is when they start to use their imaginations and be creative. I don’t remember the source anymore but it was a great article because it made me feel so much better about how I regularly leave my 3yo to entertain herself while I work from home. I also began to notice that when she was left alone, she would tell stories, act out princess scenes, pretend play, build “houses” out of sofa cushions and “go shopping”.
Of course the question of what constitutes play then arises, and whether there’s “good” play or “bad” play, because inevitably parents will only want their child to do the “best kind of play”. That’s a different discussion altogether. For now, you can read Dr Peter Gray’s full article here. He raises some pretty important points.