Isn’t it just scary how a mere three-year-old toddler can take your tablet PC, go online and download some games which they subsequently enjoy playing and yet they probably can’t even speak properly as yet and don’t quite fully know what the names of all the different basic shapes are? It appears as if this generation just has a natural affinity with all these little electronics and gadgets which undeniably form a very big part of all our lives, but rather worryingly it’s more on a consumer level than at the level of the developers or producers.
Sure, nobody expects a three-year-old to be a programming prodigy and that’s not what’s implied here. Rather, it’s worrying that kids are constantly indoors and exploring what is essentially the glossed up and filtered version of the world through a tiny mobile phone screen if not through a full-sized computer sitting in the study or on their iPads. It remains to be seen just how much of an effect this is going to have on the kids of the Millennial generation, which is rather concerning since we’ll have to deal with the situation as it arises. We might be faced with a unique set of challenges which nobody appears to have a solution to and we could be headed for disaster.
Granted, Millennials could be said to be in that situation themselves, with job scarcity and a global economy which seems to have sold us dreams that don’t have even the remotest chance of coming true, but we’re dealing with it, in one way or the other.
Now, if you have kids of your own you’re probably worried about the fact that they’re missing out on a whole lot of the joys of childhood, such as the simple pleasure of being able to go outside, call on your friends to join you, armed with nothing more than an imagination, only to have the time of your lives! Getting the kids to play outside again is not some unsolvable conundrum and it starts with just showing them just how much fun they can have outside.
It does slip their minds, you know?
Be proactive and pick up the ball and tell them that everybody in the house is going outside to play catch, kick-about, or whatever else will engage everybody. Obviously you probably don’t have nearly enough energy to keep up with the little ones, so you can’t enjoy the outdoor fun with them for the many hours that they enjoy it, but all it takes to set the ball rolling is to be that spark sometimes.
Encourage them to engage in some outdoor activities, like taking the dog for a walk. Chances are on the way back from walking the dog they will have come across something in the great outdoors which has them eager to get right back outside after having a bit of lunch or coming back in to put the leash away.
Expose them to the outdoors and the natural instinct to play outside again will come flooding back.