Childhood is a once in a lifetime moment, and it’s gone in the blink of an eye. Too quickly, the carefree era of childhood is replaced with bills, responsibilities and yes, more children! It seems like just yesterday that I was a young girl, stuffing hastily jam sandwiches in my pockets and heading for the front door shouting “see you later!” as I set off for yet another unsupervised fun day out with my brother, sister and friends. Now, I suddenly find myself as the mother of two children, preoccupied with monitoring their every move, and constantly concerned for their wellbeing.
Retrospectively, life seemed simpler and less stressful when I was a girl. It is true that we didn’t have all the gadgets and toys children have today, but we more than made up for that by using our imaginations to invent games, and using up all our physical strength running, climbing, playing and laughing.
It seems that these days our children are growing up way before their childhood ends. So often their influences encourage them to leave childishness behind when they are really not much more than toddlers. We could all be forgiven for thinking that today’s children are growing up with little more than over developed thumb muscles as they spend hours clutching handsets while controlling their computer games, staring mesmerized at illuminated computer screens. Are we, I wonder, perhaps producing a generation of youngsters who will never know the joy of imaginative adventure and sport? Are we, the adults, really doing them justice? I have noticed that there is a trend towards computer games which require them only to move their arms and legs occasionally. Seriously, is this truly a replacement for active play? I fear not.
However, I’m pleased to say that it’s not all doom and gloom. As with most problems, there are solutions on offer should we choose to seek them. Personally, I refrain from allowing my own children the freedom I was blessed with as a child. Society today does, I am afraid, present too many potential hazards for me to responsibly let my children roam free unsupervised. Nevertheless, I acknowledge the importance of healthy eating, physical exercise, imaginative play, and exploring the boundaries of personal development, in creating emotionally and physically confident, well developed children.
As the owner of Mini Footie Football Academy, I am fortunate to be able to offer families of young children the highest standard of football training in a safe and secure environment: the parents can relax while the children set about getting their hearts pumping. These days there are a wide variety of clubs, groups, classes and sports that our children can participate in: it is simply a matter of choosing which one is most suitable. Mini Footie takes pride in its encouragement of children actively playing, and developing mental and physical strengths all based around the ever loved game of football!
I personally believe that it is the way forward to encourage and educate our children and their parents in the benefits of good old fashioned physical play!