The newspaper article "Modern Life Leading To Depression" (DC 15 Sept 2007) caught my attention.

Every one wants to live ‘fully’ and ‘meaningfully’ and yet…urban life just falls apart.  Computers and Internet (both emails and websites) have become our worst enemy.  They assaults our personhood, assaults our imagination, affect our attitudes and worse, takes away quality time with the family etc.

The article stated that there is a direct corelation between increased hours of Internet usage and depression. We drove our kids to computers and even felt proud when they were at it. Now, we trying to woo away kids from computers - the games they play have become more violent, they are vulnerable in the web, we are scared that they’d access inappropriate websites etc. First it was the TV; now it is the computer…

How can parents help their kids make the best use of their time and not waste it away in virtual space…. It’s simple… help them pursue a hobby. I was recently visited my friend in Hyderabad. I was pleasantly suprised that his two girls had taken to art. It was very evident that it was the initiative and the encouragement of the mother. I went through their entire paintings. It helped see the world (- their perception of the world of colours, their lifespace, their hopes and their fears) - through their eyes.

In our busyness we abdicate our parental responsiblity to the Television and the computer. We think they are the best baby sitters. But then… they do cause a lot of damage in the impressionable mind of the child. Hats off to the family I visited… They have shown me (in their own little way) that it is possible to get children develop their natural ability for imagination. This does not need “expensive” toys but it needs our time… ( if only we can find it?!!) Let us not make our kids victims of our success! Help your kids pursue a hobby….

Samuel Thambusamy