There was a report on CBC yesterday that only 7% of Canadian children get enough “out-door” activity. The study showed than the vast majority of our children don’t spend more than 3 hours per week out doors.
And the blame seems to land on such things as the internet, cell phones, T.V. and video games.
When I was a kid, there were only a few TVs on the block and only 2 channels to choose from. My mom was adamant that no TV would ever be in our house and so our leisure time was spent outside, playing in the bush, on the street and such. And when it rained, we read books.
But eventually my mother gave in and we got a TV. The surprise to the TV was that my mom became the biggest TV addict of all, watching soaps all afternoon, and then whatever was on at night.
Which brings me to my point. Today’s kid’s don’t have a chance with hundreds of TV channels to choose from, the social network on their computer and cell phones.
In fact, you could call your email the perfect addiction trap. Checking your email throughout the day provides the perfect mix of unpredictable gratification that lab scientists use to train rats and monkeys. You never know when you might find an email that really excites you. And that is the way all addictions “get you”, whether it be alcohol, drugs, food or addictive behavior.
One way for you, the adult, to break the email addiction is to set aside specific times of the day, morning and afternoon to check your email. And then do your best to stop checking it every 30 minutes or so.
And as for your kids, we had better start doing something and fast, as this tendency to avoid outdoor activity is not a good thing for their welfare.