Beware! Are you letting the ‘play station’ win over the ‘play ground’?

Remember when we were little, our favorite part of the day was when we went out to play in the park? Those games like ‘hide and seek’, ‘hopscotch’, ‘jumping the rope’ and how we would run to the swings and ladders? Ah! This brings back many sweet memories for me, and I am sure for all you parents out there too. I still remember how we would run out of the house in the evenings to meet our friends and play until we tired ourselves out completely. I am sure I have taken you all down the memory lane.

I have heard most parents saying that they’re reliving their childhood through their children and how they see themselves in them. But, turn around and take a look at your child. Is your child sitting on the couch, glued to the television/ ipad/ computer/ play station or some gadget right now? If your child isn’t one to sit on the couch all evening,rather takes interest in some physical activity, then take a bow dear parents.

Unfortunately, in today’s day and age, I see most of the children spending hours in front of the television, laptop or some other gadget. While it does provide them with knowledge, it also brings with it a dozen problems. In my last few articles I talked about developing fine motor skills of your child. Other than that, our gross motor skills are equally important. Gross motor skills are the ones that involve large muscle groups like the legs, arms, trunk, etc. These skills are required for the very basic activities like walking, running, crawling to highly complex ones like gmynastics or other complex sports.

Due to the current over load of media content for children, they are more inclined towards sitting at home than indulging in some physical activity. This has resulted in many health related issues like obseity and has also hampered the development of these larger muscles. Such a sedentary lifestyle has serious implications in the long run, which we all are aware of. It has also restricted social interaction for children. These days, the couch is their best friend and the house or rather their room is their playground.

Apart from hampering the development of gross motor skills and increasing health issues, we are also raising our children in a very protected environment. Instead of building their confidence and empowering them, we are being over protective. It is disheartening to see litte children refusing to play even in the school grounds and complaining of heat or tiredness after just 10 minutes of play. Yes, that is true! I have had children complaining of back pains at the age of 4 and others refusing to play in the sun because they are so used to staying indoors in an air conditioned environment.

We are raising a generation of lethargic and unhealthy adults, who are underconfident and emotionally deprived due to real social interactions. An underlying cause of this is also the lifestyle of parents. Many moms hand over the ipad to their little ones, when they need time for themselves. Some parents complain of lack of time due their gruesome working hours. Well, the children learn what they see. When they see their parents glued to the phone or laptop all the time, they follow the same.

I understand that it can be difficult to take your child out every evening to play. Try starting with a day or two in a week and as your child gets older, let them go out and play themselves if you feel it is safe for them. However, do encourage and inculcate some physical activity in their lives.  It is my urge to all the parents out there, instead of buying a Play Station next time, buy a skipping rope or a trampoline for your child. Encourage them to play a sport they like. Take them to the nearby park and relive your own childhood too.

Empower your children and then watch how they succeed in the future. Like I said in one of my previous posts, give them a childhood to remember. Let there be real friends, games, parks, sports, fun and frolic in their childhood and not just a couch and television.article-2385722-1B279CE6000005DC-239_634x416

Stay tuned!