It’s time to step away from the TV

It seems the days when kids would rush home from school to go outside and play are gone. Oh, they’re still rushing home from school — to sit in front of the television and vegetate for hours. game console than going outside and playing the actual sport.

Video games have created a generation of passive people who spend a number of hours alone each week.

Developmental Psychologist Douglas Gentile said excessive video-game playing has several negative effects on children.

It can create social isolation. Children who spend 10 or more hours a week in front of the television don’t do as well in school as other children.

This obsession also is contributing to childhood obesity. Children aren’t getting the same amount of exercise as children 10 years ago did.

What is to blame? Is it advances in technology and entertainment? Or are parents too tight on the reins?

It’s both.

It seems children would rather play sports on a game console than going outside and playing the actual sport.

When I was young, I enjoyed playing a physical sport even if I wasn’t very good at it. I liked the feeling of fulfillment it gave me and I liked the experience.

However, parents who are worried about the dangers of children playing outdoors encourage them to be inside more.

In a study commissioned by Playday, a group advocating outdoor activity, 40 percent of the children studied said they would like to play outside more often. However, their parents didn’t allow it.

Fifty percent of parents said they were concerned about traffic. Forty percent didn’t want their kids outside because of fears their children would be kidnapped by strangers.

When I was a child, my parents talked to me and my brother about strangers and what to do should we encounter a dangerous situation. They also bought us walkie talkies to keep in contact with and check in every hour. Even better, kids today have cell phones.

It is important that children get plenty of outside time to exercise.

The U.S. now has the second-highest obesity rate after Mexico, according to The study shows 41 states have obesity rates of at least 25 percent. Among 2- to 19-year-olds in the U.S., 5.1 percent of boys and 4.7 percent of girls are morbidly obese in America today.

It’s time for parents to step in and make some changes. The first step is for parents to get involved. Get outside with your children. Exercise with them. Monitor the time they spend watching television and playing video games.

Moderation is the key. It’s true, too much of anything is bad.

Leave comment