Commemorated in Sri Lanka on October 1, Children’s Day was undoubtedly a fun day this year. A few days ago, you would have received gifts and cards and many fun activities may have been organized in school. Children’s Day is usually spent in a carefree manner and children are allowed to be free and enjoy life; a break from school work.

However, it’s wrong to think Children’s Day is all about fun. Sure, you can enjoy the trip to the zoo or cinema and the popcorn and candy floss but there’s also a great many important things to remember on Children’s Day.

You may be thinking that now that October 1 has gone by, you need not worry about any of the advice you receive on Children’s Day. However, remember that while childhood is commemorated once a year, you are a child all year round, until you turn 18. Even after that, you will still find the lessons you learnt during childhood important and useful.

You may think that exams or having to obey your parents all the time are the worst things about childhood. However, the worst thing is the fact that childhood ends. Once you become an adult, you will want to dance in the rain, eat all the candy floss you can or go on merry-go-rounds but you won’t have as many opportunities to do so. This is why it’s important to enjoy your childhood.

Know your rights
Did you know that you, as a child, have rights? These rights cover various aspects of life and include the right to education, a very important one, a right to not be discriminated and a right to express oneself.

Did you know that the world is fighting against child labor and that despite the efforts of governments and organizations, child labor continues? Children, even in Sri Lanka, are used for odd jobs and as domestic maids. There are children who can’t go to school and learn because they have to cook, clean or do various other jobs to earn money.

Why is it important to know your rights? Look at this example: If a child is forced to earn money by his father and isn’t aware of his rights, he wouldn’t speak to the authorities about his breach of rights. This is why it’s important to know your rights and to truly understand their significance and gravity.

Cultivate good habits
You may be sick and tired of hearing this but it is extremely important to cultivate good habits. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, you will be treated the way you treat people. If you treat people badly, they too will treat you badly. Likewise, if you treat someone nicely, you will be treated that way too. Do your part, behave well and treat people well and life will be better for you and the people you associate with.

If you are friends with mean people simply because they are cool or popular, find new and better friends. Sometimes we are mean to people just for the fun of it. It is fun to tease and bully people, but it’s not fun to be teased or bullied. If you are one of those children who makes fun of others, you might want to stop doing that. Be nice to people, and be happy.

The other reason you should cultivate good habits, specifically during your childhood,  because once you are an adult, it’s not as easy to change your way of life. If you, as a child, mind your manners and treat people well, that habit will stay with your throughout life. No one likes people who are bad mannered.

No one likes people who speak badly of others, steal, spit on the pavements or insult others, so if you cultivate these good habits during your childhood, you won’t have to make any extra effort when you are an adult and interact more with the world.

Never stop learning
Sometimes it’s extremely difficult to concentrate on class work. The lesson makes no sense so you sleep during class instead of taking down notes. Yet, you must never refuse knowledge and you must never stop learning.

Text books contain a lot of knowledge and you will have to study off text books so you can pass exams. However, exams aren’t the only reason you should study. Look around you and you will see so many great things you can learn from people and nature. Remember these various lessons because it could be an hour from now or forty years from now, but you will be able to put to use every small thing you have learned.

Always remember
Never forget your childhood memories and never forget the help and support you have received. Don’t forget the sacrifices made by your parents and the immense love of your grandparents. Don’t forget the teachers who guide you in life and tell you right from wrong. Don’t forget the friends who help you and are kind to you.

Always remember the people who help you in life. Appreciate their support and always be grateful.

These are a few of the important things you should practise in life. They will take you a long way in life and while enjoying Children’s Day and the joys of childhood, remember that it’s never too late to be a better person.


The Nation file photos

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