The Karnataka government's health department has put its healthcare infrastructure across the state on alert mode following reports of a surge in respiratory illnesses among children in China.
Where all the modern gadgets and amenities have failed, old family values have proved their enduring values. That these values have stood the test of time have been brought home during the long months of lockdown. Children have grown tired of television serials, cartoons and films.
They are bored of playing the same video, computer and mobile phone games over and over again. A colleague said his five-year-old son, who hated going to school, was now keen to get back to his classroom and friends. It’s difficult to explain to the child why one has to remain indoors.
Earlier, he would throw a tantrum if his parents forcible took him to school. He would lie down at the gate, weeping loudly. But now, he starts getting ready in the morning, saying he needs to go to school and play with his friends.
Children are unable to go to the park to play and parents are helpless. They try to tempt him with a mobile phone but he is not interested. That’s when the grandparents brought out old indoor games, such as Ludo, Snakes- and-ladder, carrom-board and chess, from the store room.
Parents, grandparents and the children all get together for hours of fun. The children cheer as they beat their elders in these board games as they honed their skills on the carrom-board and chess.
A lady narrated that her mother- in-law had kept her son’s childhood toys, including a variety of cars, aero-plane, Spiderman, Batman and plastic ball-bat. In fact, she would be nostalgic about her son’s childhood looking at these toys. One day she took down all the toys from the loft and gave them to her grandchildren while telling them how and when they were acquired.
When the children came to know that their father had once played with these toys, they were impressed. The children also heard stories from their father and grandparents about all the toys, how their father had cajoled or blackmailed his parents into buying them!
Not only this, the story-telling tradition has also seen a comeback. Listening to grandparents has now become a regular affair. They narrate stories and fairy tales that their parents had heard in their childhood.
Surprisingly, they are enjoying these story-telling sessions immensely. They are also asking their parents about their own childhood. What is now clear, our colleague concluded, is that no matter how difficult a situation may be, the family plays a big role. The elders are getting the support of the children and vice-versa. What is called emotional attachment or emotional bonding has resurfaced in a big way even though nuclear families may not be so fortunate.