Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Disappearance of Childhood, is it to late? By Mel

Back then growing up in my social environment we played “hide-and-seek” which was a very popular game in the hood.  One person would close his or her eyes, count to ten and then seek the other hiders.  The first one who is found is the next seeker.  Other simplistic games such as “Monkey in the Middle,” “Tag Football” or building a tree house were universal to a wide range of kids in different neighborhoods.  Then you had some games strictly dedicated to girls like “Hop Scotch” and “Double Dutch.”  Working parents did not worry too much because these particular activities kept us out of trouble.  The “YMCA,” “Boys and Girls Club” just a mile across town “The Q-House” memberships were very affordable (roughly $20/mo.), had flexible hours for working parents to pick up their kids after work even on the weekends.  It was amazing, kids socializing with each other, positive mentors available to assist you with homework and guiding you in the right direction.  Today with advanced technology combined with high cost programs it forces a child to mature faster.  Face to face contact is now replace with headsets to play online with their friends, virtual games eliminates the social aspect with one another, this causes isolation.  “The YMCA,” Boys and Girls Club” programs now go by your household income level so if a single parent is working two jobs just to support his or her own he/she may have to pay a substantial rate even if additional assistance is approved.  Kids now have smart phones, tablets, laptops along with other electronic devices which expose them to more adult themes.  Positive mentors are now competing with Little Trey’s favorite drama show “The Wire” which provides realism in the hood and provides an alternative view on how kids his age should behave.  It is never too late to reject these cultural ideas.  My advice to parents would be, don’t allow your child to grow up to fast.

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