Vacation Days and Guardian’s Worry

Holidays make guardians worried for their children and the significance of making proper utilisation of time is their motive. Will occupying them in hobby workshops solve the crisis?


Kavya Thomas | The New Leam


Parents grow anxious whenever their children are going to get a break from school. It becomes an issue of apprehension whether children could be enabled to make use of their days meaningfully.  The parental anxiety is contextual. Within modern homes that are made up of nuclear family groups there is an absence of the elderly.

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Children coming out of school.Image Credit :Shabin E

The child for the larger part of the vacation is forced to reside alone or with the aid of a help employed by the guardians.  Earlier the family composition was greater and there would be people other than the guardians to stay with the children. The growth of vocational lessons, hobby workshops, sports training, painting and French classes have become the modern resources to occupy children and make sure to the parents that the child’s time is being meaningfully used.  

There is a growing trend of contextualising vacations as periods where an extended phase of purchasing, consuming, eating and buying is the significant involvements. Parents who are employed wish to compensate for their absence through gifts, restaurant breaks and presents like gadgets or games. It is ironical that the child who is brought up in such a context grows up surrounded by objects irrespective of the fact that she may be very much in need of the human warmth.

The provision of luxury, the presence of delicacies, toys, gadgets and books purchased by parents cannot replace their physical presence. Grandparents who nurtured their grandchildren with sustained love and care, stories and warmth are no longer part of the growing up of urban toddlers. This leads to the tendency for selfishness, issues of adjusting, underdeveloped communication skills and most significantly deprives the child of the wealth of personal care.

It is significant that cultures acknowledge this issue and start to reconceptualise childhood as a period of immense importance.  Thinkers like Ivan Illich, Paulo Freire and Tagore have said a lot about the significance of childhood as a period which builds the individual into a complete persona. The nurturance of the heart is as significant as learning skills, the love of a parent cannot be exchanged for the new gadget. It is paradoxical that in the modern era we are denying the child her rights to childhood.

Hyper-modernity reduces the individual into a career motivated machine but it should be acknowledged that education and culture should build the person into a harmonious self. This crisis has to be understood because children are the shared asset of humanity.   

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