Our world has become very stressful with lots of things and people demanding for our attention and time. Amidst all this family members are left with few outlets to relax and have fun. It’s Imperative that we strive to find ways to unwind and relax as this will help increase our productivity levels. The nature of our jobs contradicts the very essence of healthy life-styles as adults are expected to work an average of 40 hours a week, taking up much of our day with little time left for housework, family time is somehow abandoned or very rare. This trend is replicated with our children as we are bent on ensuring that they turn out well and succeed with good grades. We keep pushing them to work just little harder and in many ways school seems the ultimate place to delegate our responsibility of parenting to. We are quick to send our kids to the room to study, go finish up homework, go read a book subconsciously avoiding nurturing the next generation. I am totally of the opinion that such methods are necessary and I am in support of excellence in every facet of our lives, education being the top priority but not at the expense of entertaining little hearts.

In many ways we fail to entertain little hearts i. e the children, who by default need recreation to function properly. A popular saying  ‘All work and No play makes Jack a dull boy’ comes to mind. How well do we seek out ways to keep our families entertained after a long week, or a busy term? Do we leave our children to find things to amuse themselves constantly? Are we aware of the friends they interact with, their postings on social media, their preferences in movies, music, clothing and even what they eat? Or Are you a parent or caregiver who assumes providing all of the amenities alone makes you worthy of the ‘BEST PARENT AWARD’. This approach can be likened to a farmer who gives his planters seedlings without the right instructions on how to transplant and grow them. This behaviour is becoming increasingly popular with the educated and elite parents, who will gladly buy the latest gadget for their teenage daughters than discuss about their monthly periods, rather than teach them how to  maintain personal hygiene or teach their sons how to help out with chores at home.

Like with all other forms of development in humans one must be taught how to seek desire and enjoy pleasure which has been tagged as ‘entertainment’. Given the right tools; hidden talents can be detected and nurtured from very young ages. The world renowned tennis player, Serena Williams started playing tennis at a tender age of three; this talent was inspired and nurtured by her family. Similarly the acclaimed Sierra Leonean Ballerina Michaela De Prince fell in love with ballet; when she saw a picture of a ballerina as a young child in an orphanage.  To entertain means to provide someone with amusement and entertainment. Recreation is another means to relax and in turn, this phrase is synonymous with words such as to engross, occupy, immerse, engage, interest and fascinate to name a few. Which simplifies the reasoning behind this discourse .How well do we do all of these things and when?

Recently Sierra Leone has experienced a rise in teenage mothers and violent teens, a worrisome trend. Most times the easiest question to form on our lips, is where the parents where when they did this and that? A judgmental question but which can be termed ‘realistic’. Most of these cases are as a result of years of misguided entertainment and sub-conscious exposure to unhealthy habits. Reiterating the need for a timely intervention into entertaining little hearts as discoursed in this article. How can you entertain little hearts?

  • Get involved in your child’s life. Find ways to be part of their daily routine, read a book together, pray together, and watch a movie. Remember it’s the little things that make the difference.
  • Discover what your child likes by introducing her to different activities and environments which might trigger her passion. A lesson in crochet, a cooking /dolly set, gardening or new sport. This might encourage you as the parent to take up a hobby yourself.
  • Monitor your child’s friends, what they watch on TV, internet, access to smart phones, tablets and other electronic devices. Activate Parental control as best as you can, a seemingly harmless game might be reinforcing violence in your son’s life whilst the other might become addicted to watching little pornographic pictures and videos shared on social media.
  • Do not become obsessed with finding ways to entertain your child and forget to instill the values of self-control and discipline. He/ She cannot have access to everything she requests or be the first to own the ‘Latest’ gadget. Remember moderation in all things.
  • Routine and repetition are the keys to developing a healthy method that can entertain you and your family. Don’t be afraid to explore and try different things and methods as you can only truly discover, what works better, when you try harder.
  • Play sounds very simple, but is a fundamental part in a child’s development. A child needs adequate time running, skipping and engaging in rotational and balancing games.
  • Reading to very young children and encouraging children to read is a great way to keep them occupied and away from mischief as they gain new knowledge. It enhances creativity and heightens the imagination.

Happy discovery!

Written by Ariana Oluwole

©Narnia Educational Group

Written by: arianadiaries

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