Let children play, it helps in their cognitive development

playing children

Children learn how to ride a bicycle.

Photo credit: John Njoroge | Nation Media Group

When I was a child or rather when most of us were of that age, schoolwork was only between 8am and 4pm. Once we got home, we would all head out to play and relax.

That was after a tiring day of studying. After such a long day, children had to play, socialise and participate in a bit of mischief. This is what childhood entails.

It really shocks me to see young children in Grade Four, Five or Six having private classes during this short holiday. After all the pressure of compressed school terms, some children have gone home to take more and more lessons!

No one is opposed to tuition since every parent wishes to see their child excel. It is a fact that tuition goes a long way in helping a learner catch up, especially the slow ones.

The only problem is that too much of it, like everything else, can be poisonous.

Speaking of memories, I have never heard anyone give a memory of how they were taught and coached day and night.

Forcing private classes on children at such a tender age may be detrimental to their development.

As much as a child might not be excelling academically, all-the-time tuition is not the best way to address the problem.

It is more counterproductive when that coaching involves denying the child time to play and rest. In fact, this will only lead to more problems.

It is like pulling down a wall to repair a crack! All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, and Jane a dull girl.

There are those whose talents are not in books and no amount of coaching will change that fact.

What some parents forget is raising a bookworm is a big failure on its own. Giving children time to play helps reduce the monotony of study.

Games have a positive impact on children’s social and academic life, research shows.

Lack of free time away from books will also deny the child an opportunity to grow in other aspects of life.

Let us not cage the children in academic boxes; let them out. Encourage them to manage their time well.  This is a life skill and it will go a long way in helping them become persons of substance.

Trevor, 17, studies at Alliance High School.