Are we killing the Spontaneous Joy in our children ?

Saturday 1418 – 25 May 2013

“Blessed  be childhood, which brings down something of heaven into the midst of our rough  earthliness”
Henri  Frederic Amiel

Let me set the scene for you. 

I was shopping in Tesco’s today and was on my way down the long moving walkway from the first to the ground floor. It’s used to get shoppers and their trolleys up and down.

Just behind me was a woman with a little girl in her trolley and a little boy beside her holding on . He suddenly let go and started to walk fast down the walkway laughing all the time. He got to the bottom and started to go back up the other side. There was hardly anyone else on the walkways.

I could sense that the little girl ( older than the boy) was dying to get out of the trolley to join him and she finally gave in to the desire and asked her mum if she could go up the walkway again too. Her mother’s reply was “No you’re the sensible one you’re nearly six”  My heart just sank and I felt like screaming NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO ! don’t make her the sensible one at six.  She’s just a small child, she should be playing not being sensible. The little girl looked crestfallen and probably so did I !

For the next couple of hours, as I walked about town, I could see mother’s everywhere making their children behave sensibly and it made me feel most terribly sad.

Why do we curtail our children’s childhood? Why do we stop their joy and spontaneousness?  Shouldn’t we encourage their innocent joy for as long as possible rather than trying to make them fit into an adult world of restraint?

I am glad to say that I have managed to hang on to a degree of my childlike nature and I hope you have too; I believe it helps us to appreciate the wonder of the world.

The photos below were taken in a square in Cuba and I think I’ve captured some of this child’s sense of wonder and joy. I was going to post this on Photomania but after today I felt like it fitted here instead.

The Tale of the Girl and the Pigeons _889.







I expect many of you, who follow this blog regularly, might have expected that I was going to write something about the terrible killing that happened in London this week, where the soldier was hacked to death in Woolwich.. I am going to say something and please don’t interpret it as me condoning or excusing this violence in any way as I am opposed to all violence but what I will say is this…  

Our misguided politicians have chosen to align us with America and take part in wars which it seems to me are entirely unjustified and have resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people.  Along with America we are undoubtedly hated by millions in countries across the world because of our Imperialist ways.

War does not bring Peace it brings only death and increases hatred.  Sadly we saw the results of that hatred in London this week and the knee-jerk reaction against Muslims which will continue the cycle. The solution is simple.. stop creating wars !!


Release the child in you this week and have some fun. See you next week.


You can find my photography blog Photomania here



15 comments on “Are we killing the Spontaneous Joy in our children ?

  1. LensScaper says:

    Words from the heart on more than one topic. All well said Helen. I doubt whether any future generation will have a true childhood like my generation had – relaxed, fear-free, innocent, and making our own fun.

  2. The pictures are lovely and I agree. War perpetuates the problem .

  3. Adrian Lewis says:

    Very much identify with “I am glad to say that I have managed to hang on to a degree of my childlike nature and I hope you have too; I believe it helps us to appreciate the wonder of the world.”. Amongst other things, holding onto the childlike sense of wonder makes for great photos!

    When I’m with young children – usually the 5 little girls in my life – I let myself go completely. There’s shouts, screams, laughter and mayhem and its wonderful!

    This is mainly in private – and I think stolid parents are embarrassed by their children’s inhibitions.

    Equally, due to the pressures of advertising and business, kids are not allowed long enough any more to be kids – they’re soon into designer clothes and toys, neuroses about their bodies and so on. Its very sad. A

  4. […] This is a complementary post to this week’s 1500 Saturdays which is entitled “Are we Killing the Spontaneous Joy in our Children” which you can read here […]

  5. totsymae1011 says:

    No. I didn’t expect you to write about the killing. Those are beautifule photos of the little girl and pigeons though. I plan to dabble in being a child again this week. Oh, but I did engage in a water balloon fight yesterday. Off to a good start.

  6. scillagrace says:

    Such a delightful series of photos! Reminds me of my kids chasing pigeons and scattering seagulls when they were young. The balance of play and safety is a constant dance; I see it every day at work. Our fears are heightened by the sensationalizing of accident stories on the media. Living isn’t safe; what do you do with that? Embrace that and dance anyway? Wear bubble wrap and try not to bump while dancing? Everyone makes a choice and learns something from the outcome.

  7. Truly…… as with our country, I’m losing hope if this war between the abu sayyafs and the militaries will ever end……. tired.

  8. Mark Goodwin says:

    Loving the pics Helen. Lovely story about the kiddies on the walkway. Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could just let the children be children like when I was a child. I would stay out playing till dusk and then be called in for bed. I guess I would have been 7 or 8. But I have just read the terrible story of the man who killed his partners granddaughter and hid her in the attic. And how he used Google to seek out vile images. Amanda Plattell’s article in the Daily Mail Saturday. And it made me worry about my grandchildren, and I was thankful that I don’t have any youngsters of my own today, all grown and flown.
    And I think today’s society has brought us to the point where young parents are afraid to allow the kiddies not to be sensible because they are afraid of the time when they are a little older and are out there on their own. Hence, they now start drumming in the ‘be sensible’ mantra at a very early age. Such a shame.

    • Helen Cherry says:

      I think we are encouraged to be fearful by 24hr media Mark. I doubt if the world is more dangerous for children I just think we know so much more about it. When we were young we didn’t know what was happening outside our small town and I remember a few bad things happening in mine.
      Now we are bombarded constantly with bad news which is not good news !!

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