Friday, June 7, 2013

A Real Childhood

In a restaurant, the two kids sitting next to our table were very busy. They were not busy eating, but were busy playing games on their tablets - each person had one tablet. Their mum was busy too, she was busy looking at her handphone. The only really busy person was their domestic helper - she was busy feeding the two children who did not have spare hands to feed themselves! Throughout the whole meal, there was minimum conversation among the mother and two kids. Perhaps they were communicating actively on Facebook.

Another table, two ladies were in an intense discussion. Ok, I admit I was kaypoh (busybody), but you know, when two people talk so loudly, it is difficult to ignore. They were trying to compete with each other - whose child attend more tuition classes and enrichment classes!

Then I looked at Pei Pei and Hao Hao. Is that the kind of childhood that they should have?

Things were different for the children 50 years ago.

Instead of playing Candy Crush and Angry Birds games, the children played with marbles or five stones.

Instead of rushing for tuition or enrichment classes after school, the children played zero point or went to longkang (drain) to catch fish.

Instead of logging on Facebook, Instagram or other social media to communicate with friends sitting next to them, the children were laughing with one another as they were playing police and thief in the kampung.

Instead of having fanciful kitchen set toy, the children took their mum's treasures from the kitchen to play Masak-masak (cooking game).

Instead of having a wide range of ready-made toys available from the toy shops, the children made their own toys like kites and catapults from twigs and leaves with their own creativity.

Instead of spending their pocket money on the Pokemon cards to "hao lian" (show-off) to their friends, the children spent some pocket money to play tikam tikam in the neighbourhood Mama shop, hoping to win a rubber to add to their collection.

Instead of confiscating their electronic gadgets by the parents when the children misbehave, a trip to Har Par Villa would make them behave!

Instead of rewarding the children with the latest model of  laptop that costs $3k to do their school projects, a bottle of  Green Spot drink or an ice ball that cost a few cents would bring the brightest smile on the children's face.

Though life was not as comfortable as compared to present, the children 50 years ago would have a real childhood - one that the children truly enjoy, one that the children truly learn.

A real childhood, something that I hope I can give Pei Pei and Hao Hao.

What do you think a real childhood is?

p.s. This post was written to participate in the Singapore Blog Awards' themed challenge - Inspiration from 1960s. So... if you like this post, please support us by clicking HERE to cast a vote for PeiPei.HaoHao, ok? You can cast one vote everyday until 23 June, and stand a chance to win a prize! Thank you! (with kisses from Pei Pei and Hao Hao)

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