Not many boys are as active compared to say ten or so years ago, and by this I mean outside the school’s Physical Education curriculum.
Besides childhood obesity, there is a matter of long term bone health concerns due to this inactivity that every parent should be worried about.
Unfortunately our boys (and girls) are spending so much time on screen games and on their phones that involves many hours of sitting. This has a direct impact on bone development and good bone health that would result in bone related deficiencies well into the future. Read and share this article by Dr. Mercola.
At school, pupils and students have no choice but to participate in active sports activities. As a parent, I do recall a few times when my boys at different times would come up with excuses why they cannot participate and want a letter for school to be exempted.
The most common excuse I have heard is ‘I am too tired….I didn’t sleep well last night.’ Why wouldn’t they be tired? And of course refusing to oblige with writing such letters means you become the most unpopular parent of the week, but that’s okay!
We all know that usually when you are physically exhausted, when you have used your energy well this can really induced a sound and a very goodnight’s sleep. However, the type of tiredness my boys or your children refer to in most cases have nothing to do with physical exhaustion and they know that.
How do we then safeguard our boys’ future bone health? No easy answers here as children, both boys and girls are very obsessed with these screen games and the constant use of their phones.
I know of parents who will hide the connecting cables or indeed put the whole game box away. What is your own approach?
First, I don’t believe in a total ban; as boys besides being encouraged to go on their bikes, play basketball in the local park etc., still do need some screen time to release pent up frustrations. Not thinking through the approach to this problem could easily spark a World War 3 in your home…who needs that?
This is what I do in my household and you might have your own approach that works; perhaps you can share this in your comments to help others.
We have had a good discussion on the long term effects on playing screen games for hours on end and have come to an acceptable agreement (mind you my boys are 13 and 15), on how long and on which days of the week they can play. No mobile phones usage to watch or play games in my car unless travelling on long journeys and certainly not at meal times. Trying to use these car journeys and meal times to foster family time communication like it should be.
*First image ‘Game Player’ is by Lucy Rendler-Kaplan.