Let Kids Be Kids
I wish…that our kids could safely play on the streets again, the way that I did when I was growing up.
This winning “Wish of the Week” was submitted by Alice of www.mycotorra.com. Alice lamented that she has lost that sense of neighborhood that she had growing up, and that now-a-days playtime for kids is all about play dates. She asks, “What happened to running wild all day and just checking in at meal times?”
Studies have shown that today’s US children spend only 4 to 7 minutes per day playing outside. The reasons for this are:
1. Children’s free time has decreased significantly due to homework and extensive after-school activities.
2. The plugged-in phenomenon: kids spend an average of 7 hours per day in front of a TV, computer, smart phone or game console screen.
3. Parents fear that their children may be abducted if allowed to play outdoors.
This lack of outdoor play is having a significant impact on our children. Experts believe that staying longer indoors can lead to childhood obesity, attention-deficit disorder (due to the amount of time interacting with electronic devices) and higher stress and depression levels (due to decreased exposure to nature and its calming effects).
What can we do to make Alice’s wish come true?