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It’s one of the ironies of growing up that many of us strive to be accepted as mature adults well before our time – and when we get there, we pine for those innocent, trouble-free days of youth. For most people, thinking back to their childhood instantly conjures images of happiness and fun – whether it’s family holidays, formative experiences or playing with your favourite toys. But don’t forget that you had to spend the working week in school – and didn’t even get paid for your trouble.
With childhood conjuring such happy memories, it’s no wonder many people take a little longer to let go than others – especially in the modern world, where it’s easier to hold on to your youth for longer. But what is it that the 40-year-old ‘kidults,’ riding on their skateboards and wearing inappropriately figure-hugging Mr Men T-shirts, are really missing about their youth?
Everyone’s childhood is different, influenced largely by our family environment and friends. If you were an outdoors kid, childhood probably means falling out of trees and making adrenaline-pumping leaps across raging rivers. But for those who found their comfort in games and kid’s TV, our mental pictures are bright, colourful and fringed by bad retro wallpaper.
You’re rarely under time pressure as a kid, when it seems like these years will last forever. So there was very little guilt in sitting in front of Children’s BBC, CITV or the other dedicated children’s shows for hours on end, watching the animated adventures of various anthropomorphised animals. While your parents might have moaned at you for watching too much TV, many of them didn’t take their protests too far – as they were equally culpable of indulging in evening viewing too, when they thought you were sound asleep.
It’s not just TV that provides an imaginative escape for kids, of course, which explains the popularity of kid’s games across all generations and all parts of the world. Today’s sophisticated electronic toys may be a far cry from the wooden dolls of the Victorian era, but kids are adept at filling in the blanks and making even the simplest of toys provide hours of fun.
Childhood wasn’t completely without its problems though, even if you grew up in a happy home. Many kids feel the same social pressure to conform or impress their peers as adults do, which could mean worrying about the clothes you wear or the people you’re seen hanging around with. School can also be a very challenging and even unpleasant time, if there are subjects you find it hard to get your head around, knowing you won’t be free to head back to your family, toys and TV until 3.30. While childhood can be an incredible and important time in our lives, its finite duration is what makes it so special.
About the Author:
Jennifer is a part of the digital blogging team at alwritenow.com who work with Kid’s games retailers like Woolworths. For more information about me, or to keep up to date with the latest in lifestyle news, check out my posts at alwritenow.com or visit my Twitter account, @awnow