There has been such a huge shift in the way we perceive normalcy now.
I recently travelled with my 4 year old, and every time he jumped around, in airports, not staying still, it somehow bothered a lot of people around. At the beginning it was difficult for me to comprehend what he was doing wrong or out of the ordinary, maybe because I am so used to children jumping around me. Specially at Grooming Tales we allow children to jump around, roll across the floor if that is what their body is asking for. We keep gym balls as seats sometimes, so they can be as fidgety as they like.
How can you stop a child from being inquisitive and exploring. He kept putting a piece of paper on the luggage belt and was fascinated when it took a round and came back to him. Some concerned person actually walked up to me and said, “You are not looking after your kid. He will get hurt!” It made me realize how possessive we have started to become of our children, that we deprive them of the freedom to explore and play most of the time, in the fear that they might get hurt. I started to ponder over why, “looking after your kid”, in public spaces means ensuring that they stay absolutely still ? Why do we need to curb their curiosity and their will to explore and experiment while they are out and about ? Isn’t it the perfect opportunity for them to learn things that they might not, being at home? Then why do we have to stop this natural development? Why is it that parents need to feel embarrassed when their children are running around, playing in an airport or another such public space?
If we go back to our childhood we will remember that we spent most of it just playing, exploring and running around, and if we look back far enough, I guess our parents did the same. How has it been termed as ‘creating a nuisance’ now? Why must our children not be given this privilege of exploring and playing, regardless of where they are, and probable be handed over an I-pad or mobile in order to get them to stay still? Is this what we call as maintaining a decorum?
Not a single person in that airport stared and glared at the child who sat in one fixated space for more than an hour fixated to his screen. Nobody stopped to wonder and ask why is this kid not moving? No one was surprised with the child who was made to be absolutely still. But people were amazed at how I allowed my child to walk around the plane, saying HI to random strangers and making small talk with people, wanting to go see what is inside the cockpit when the plane landed.
The truth is we will be surprised each time a kid act like a kid, and we might even go to the extent of thinking that it is absolutely wrong, cos that is what our version of normal has become now. It is indeed surprising to see how our version of normal has changed so much over the generations, and I feel almost anxious to find out what the future beholds if we don’t change it very soon.