Children Will Be Children Only Once: COVID and the 100-Acre Paradise

Since children have gone back to school, there been a lot of umming and arghing about whether it’s safe to go back to school.

Tré Ventour-Griffiths

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Photo by Peter Idowu on Unsplash

Having lived with my younger brother more closely these last six months since the lockdown, I have seen him become more in tune with himself. What I have also seen is a shift in what it could possibly mean to be a child in this world, as the gap widens between innocence and experience. When I was a boy, for me, innocence was Winnie the Pooh and the 100-Acre Wood and reading Enid Blyton novels. My brother is twelve years my junior and is really the first generation to grow up with the internet. There are a few saying that the Coronavirus pandemic has taken away this generation of children’s innocence. However, I am not sure if there was any innocence there to begin with — growing up with the internet, social media and influencers alike.

At twelve, I had MSN and My Space but his peers have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tik Tok and more, and are more exposed to the ills of the world than I was. I’m not saying today’s 20-somethings grew up without the internet. Simply, we were on the margins of both worlds. Born in 2008, he will never know a world before YouTube. In April 2020, an article entitled ‘Coronavirus isn’t the end of ‘childhood innocence,’ but an opportunity to rethink children’s rights’ was published by The Conversation. Not only is this the time to rethink children’s rights but also what it means to be a child in the twenty-first century. As despite there being just over ten years between me and my brother, that is long enough to entertain a sort of generation gap.

Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash

Whilst I was born in 1995, growing up in the 2000s, he will never understand why Pokémon was all the rage. That despite Pokémon still being around now (with Pokemon Go and such), it’s not what it was. When I was eight, ten and twelve, Pokémon was it, including those Game Boy cartridges. What about Tamogotchi, Jetix and a Toonatic? Despite being an active user of social media now, this is a new feeling for…

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Tré Ventour-Griffiths

Award-Winning Educator | Creative | Public Historian-Sociologist | Speaks: Race, Neurodiversity, Film + TV, Black British History + more | #Autistic #Dyspraxic