Essay Question: “How Should Children Spend Their Time?”

I believe that the days of parental nurturing of children’s talents are way behind us, and that the parents’ new role shall be confined to the mere facilitation of their children’s self-developing activities. Children should be made to have as many potential interests as possible exposed to them from a very young age. To me the issue is rather what they should come out from contemplating about their random everyday activities. A child should not be compelled to spend their day in a cued manner, for it has been repeatedly proven that such attempts can be of hazardous effects on a child’s psyche. These effects can occur when children are subjected to the extreme versions of standardization like in the early-day wave of psychoanalysis therapy (the most notorious example is seen in the theories set by Sigmund Freud’s daughter, Anna, on “child-therapy”), or when simply made to conform with the boundaries of tradition and what the parents see fit for a child to do.

In my view, schoolwork should ideally be limited to the children’s time on school grounds as much as possible, as followed under some education systems, of which Finland might be the ultimate example. A child’s afterschool time should be directed towards whatever the child finds themselves into, considering the parents do keep them exposed to as many activities as possible. What parents could add to the formula to ensure a satisfying outcome from whichever activity their child chooses to indulge in, is trying to subliminally direct their children’s attention towards the character-building aspects of these activities. That applies to video games and cartoons as much as it does to reading. If a child learns the art of viewing things from the right perspectives, they can develop the same values, skills, and knowledge from watching a movie that another child who enjoys reading might learn from a book on the topic.

References:

  • Curtis, A. (Director). (2002). The Century of the Self [Video file]. Britain: BBC.
  • Coughlan, S. (2016, October 27). Why do Finnish pupils succeed with less homework? BBC. Retrieved from http://www.bbc. com/news/education-37716005
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