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Child Health Chat, Issue #018 -- Festival Celebrations Influence Child Social Development
October 16, 2013

Striving For A Happy Childhood

The festive season is here.
In India the great garba nights have just ended.
Then comes Halloween in the west and Diwali in the east with a long chain to follow till we hit 2014.

Why have so many festival celebrations?
Modernization has raised several doubts on religions but has not changed our attitude towards festival celebrations. Half of us take the mythology that we celebrate with a pinch of salt – a big pinch of salt would be more appropriate.

Don’t celebrations help our psyche!
The music and dance are known to improve mood. The zest to celebrate festival however picks up only when children come are in the picture. Festival celebrations introduce our children to the world we live in. They play, participate and share responsibilities in diverse cultural settings that impart valuable education in an informal setup.

Read on!
The article of the month:
Festival Celebrations Influence Child Social Development
And lots more.
It's interesting and informative.


Table of Contents


Festival Celebrations Influence Child Social Development

Strengthening Children’s Self-Concept

Child Health News

Air Pollution Impedes Brain Growth Distorts Child Behavior

Father’s Emotional Health Affects Child Psychology

Pearls From The Forums

Counselling Children after Natural Disasters

Sexual Behavior in a 4 Year Old Boy

Important Links and Need to Know Information

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Festival Celebrations Influence Child Social Development

Appropriate social development is crucial for emotional health of children. Festival celebrations play a vital role in development of social skills. From time immemorial, all the cultures around the world must therefore have had festivals: Though festival celebrations have strongly believed to be religious events, only children’s participation adds sparkle to festivals.

Celebrations offer intermittent relief from restricted environment

The social environment of infants, toddlers and preschool children is limited to family, day care centers, neighborhood and institutes of parents' choice. All of which have a rushed schedule and formal mode of interaction that impoverish children's experiences.

Festival celebrations enrich childhood experiences

Festival celebrations create wide variety of opportunities for children of all age groups. All that they see, hear and feel gets deeply enmeshed in their childhood experiences. Their experiences expand their knowledge. They gather facts about the culture that they live in. They modify their attitude and beliefs with their own independent thinking.

Gift exchanges refresh affectionate feelings and induce social harmony

Receiving and giving gifts, the integral part of most festival celebrations, has an impact on children’s psycho-social development. Gifts convey affectionate feelings and gratitude. Both receiver and giver enjoy the pleasure associated with exchange of gifts; bonds are strengthened, faults are forgiven and social harmony is maintained.

Festival celebrations emit happiness

Exhilarating effect of music, colored decorations and bright lights on mood is well known. Gorgeously dressed children enjoy a vast variety of delights. Their laughter and chatter livens the festival. Delicious traditional dishes stimulate their appetite. Moreover, they get an opportunity for rich untethered interaction.

Active interaction promotes social development and emotional health

Children need to interact. Celebrations offer them a non-hierarchical platform to interact with adults and children of different age group. They are introduced to native beliefs and social practices through playful interaction.

Play is children’s favorite way of learning

Playful activities bring out natural expressions. A Greek philosopher of 428 BC, Plato noted; “you can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation”. Children use the virtues of play the most. Through play they discover their environment, build communicative abilities, master cognitive skills and enhance social development to meet the ever rising challenges of childhood.

Free from authoritative control, play is firmly integrated in all festival celebrations; may it be Halloween, Holi, Christmas, Diwali or birthday parties. Children then reveal their unvoiced thoughts. They explore their experiences without the fear of being judged. Self-guided reliving of the unpleasant experiences helps resolve the conflicts and heals the injured emotional health.

Team work

Group participation is the theme of all festival celebrations, and cooperation is at the core of team work accomplishment. Children thereby evolve harmony, tolerance and respect for different social and cultural attitudes. Moreover, rising opportunities to participate in intercultural festival exposure helps them to develop broader outlook. It subdues social status differences and strengthens emotional health.

Brings out creativity

Children get ample chance to refine their cognitive skills and explore their talents. They get involved in various activities. Preparations are started weeks before the event. Each passing day adds to their cognitive and social development – and all with fun and joy.

Paintings and decorations exhibit their artistic capabilities. They portray mythological and modern characters on stage through songs, dance, drama, mimicry and so on. In the process they enjoy, form bonds and face competition. They learn to deal with joy that is mingled with challenges and imperfections. They overcome stage phobia and develop self-confidence besides learning to regulate their emotions.

Induces administrative capabilities

Working in team and putting up stage performance also involves effective administration. Mild anxiety, irritation and apprehension are part of administration. All these leave a consolidative positive influence on various domains of childhood development. Social development brings in the ability to forget and forgive mutual shortcomings. Children begin to perceive that for success, mutual goals are more important than mutual differences.

Boosts self-esteem

Successful participation and mass appreciation boosts children’s self-esteem. Resolution of conflicts effectuates social harmony. Successful interaction with peers and adults further re-enforces their self-esteem and boosts their self-confidence.

Gives identity

Do not give up native traditions; they give children their identity. Cultural exposure enhances knowledge of their cultural roots. Healthy bondage to the cultural beliefs of the family and the society works as an anchor for their social and emotional health.

Several things attract their attention during formative years. Festival celebrations, time and again make children live through temptations. Consequently they learn to modulate their desires through self-regulation.

Time tried, social and cognitive stimulation from festival celebrations, is, any day, better than modern interventional technology for normal child social development.

Excitement and happiness lasts for several days after the event

Boosted self-esteem, social popularity, healthy identity and resolved conflicts leave children positively motivated. Having experienced social impact with the family members, children do not frequently drift away from the family in pursuit of social experiences.

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Strengthening Children's Self-Concept
I was once asked: "How we in different facets of environment can have positive influence on self-concept of children?" The question made me ponder and what follows is the answer I got.
Read on!

News on Child Health

Air Pollution Impedes Brain Growth Distorts Child Behavior
Coexistence of air pollution and maternal depression during pregnancy impedes infant’s brain growth and leads to childhood behavioral problems; poor attention... Must read!!!

Father's Emotional Health Affects Child Psychology
Children whose fathers suffer undue anxiety before and after their birth, experience emotional upheaval and present with disturbed social behavior during their infancy and preschool years. Continue reading ...

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Pearls From The Forums

Counselling Children after Natural Disasters
Natural disasters uproot families and leave children traumatised physically, psychologically, socially and emotionally. Statics show that nearly 300 million people are affected every year by hurricanes, floods, tsunamis, tornadoes, and earthquakes.

Children are far more likely than adults to be traumatized by natural disasters. 1 in 25 teenagers experience post-traumatic stress disorder. Many of these cases result from a traumatic experience when they were very young and did not receive adequate emotional support to recover from.
What do children really need?

Sexual Behavior in a 4 Year Old Boy
4 year old well behaved boy teaching his 3 year old brother oral sex acts and open mouth kissing.
Why is this happening?
Is there abuse happening?

What do we do?

Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you.
Just reply to this zine and tell me what you think!

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Regret, due to unavoidable reasons, there will be no issue next month. Subsequently, I will be back soon with the next issue of "Child Health Chat".
Take care!

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