When I was young, it was so common seeing kids running around the neighbourhood, really having a ball to be on the street. Nowadays, kids are either in various hobby classes after school or stayed at home watching YouTube or playing video games.
The playgrounds are no longer fun. We had metal slides 2-3 storey high, we had wooden swings, we could stand on and jump off from them, we had monkey bars we could fall down on hard landing. Nowadays we see plastic slides that wrap around nicely and we see rubber mat flooring that no one could ever get hurt.
I miss the time when we could still see children helping out their parents at the businesses, doing the easiest tasks in the shop or even just chatting with the customers. Nowadays, kids are asked to stay home with grandparents or helpers if the parents have to work at the shops.
I grew up in a typical middle class family in Hong Kong where my dad ran a small scale factory in Tokawan. Every Saturday, my mom would take my brother and me to the neighbourhood so she could do grocery shopping; often time leaving us in the factory our father. My father would always send us to the second floor where there was literally nothing but a desk and a toilet. We were asked to do our homework or play by ourselves.
Being just a year apart from my brother, of course, he was my closest playing buddy but at the same time being the one I was always fighting with. So, most of the time, we ended up beating each other up and got separated from each other. I was always asked to sit next to my dad while my brother could remain upstairs. My best companion then became the calculator on my father’s desk where I discover I could see different figures if you keep pressing square root, the number will keep changing… yup, that’s how I was entertaining myself!
To me, that’s what a real childhood is all about – having the chance to be bored or left in the shop so you could see how your parents were making a living, having the time to break your arms by falling down from the monkey bar …
這就是我心目中真正的童年 － 要懂得怎麼樣解悶，要看着爸媽怎樣賺錢，要知道從馬騮𣕧上跌下來是怎樣斷了手臂⋯⋯
Don’t just put the kids in the house or in the classroom, let them be bored and left on the street to learn what a real childhood is.
About the momtributor 投稿媽媽檔案
Ever since she has been a mother, Lena has put aside her career and focus on her children. Although she has left her job, Lena has never given up her own dream. With the children start schooling now, she has returned but this time working for herself and helping others dreams come true.
Lena is a Canadian Hong Konger. She was previously working for a number of asset management firms and was chartered as CFA. A mother of two daughters, Lena works as a business consultant helping small business to grow.