Studies by Dimetri Christakis at the Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle have determined that the brain need touch, hearing, seeing, smelling, and tasting stimulus to grow fully.
Now consider the following facts about the youth of today.
The average child spends 900 hours a year in school and 1,023 hours a year watching television. In the average home, the TV is on 6.7 hours per day. By the time a boy reaches eighteen years of age, he’ll have spent 22,000 hours watching television. That is more than any other activity besides sleeping. The number of videos and DVDs families rent every day is twice the number of books read. By the age of sixteen, the average boy will have seen 200,000 acts of violence on television, 33,000 of them acts of murder. One fourth of children under two years of age have a television in their bedrooms. Two thirds of preschool boys sit in front of screens for more than two hours per day. That is more than 3 times the hours they spend looking at books or being read to.*
*Randy White. Children’s outdoor play and learning environments: returning to nature 2004
It seems there should be a direct and clear solution to this issue. But, after having spoken to any number of parents, I find this is not the case.
It seems children have forgotten how to play.
As odd as this may seem, I hear the same statement again and again. Parents tell me when the television is turned off the children have no idea how to occupy themselves and look to the parents to entertain them.
How did this come to pass? I remember in my own childhood spending the majority of my time in rough and tumble games outside until forced in by darkness. Now, I find that children are completely unacquainted with their own next door neighbors.
Parents are understandably exhausted after 10 and 12 hour work days and are unable to entertain the children.
What solutions or suggestions have you found for this bizarre and escalating phenomenon?
Reg Adkins writes on behavior and the human experience at (elementaltruths.blogspot.com).