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Poll
Question: Do your children get enough exercise and time outside?
Yes, they do. - 2 (11.8%)
No, they don't. - 11 (64.7%)
They get exercise, but I wonder if they are really outside enough. - 1 (5.9%)
They get exercise, but they don't have the same contact with the natural world that I had when I was a kid. - 3 (17.6%)
Total Voters: 17

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Author Topic: Do kids today get enough exercise and time outdoors?  (Read 1075 times) Average Rating: 0
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Pravoslavbob
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« on: May 14, 2011, 01:28:09 PM »

I was inspired to create this poll because of a topic that came up in another thread on the non-Religious topics board:

^  I think you're on to something, LIza.  Related to this, I've previously had a look at a book called Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder which, among other things, notes that kids nowadays stay inside too much and play on computers and ipods etc. instead of getting outside and playing.

So, I was just wondering.  I'd like it if anyone who has nephews, nieces, grandkids, children of their own, children of good friends etc. responded to this poll.  I think it's pretty challenging being a parent nowadays.  One reason why kids might not get outside enough is because parents are so much more (often quite rightfully) concerned about their safety.  So what do you think?  Do our children get outside enough?  Do even suburban and rural children have a "nature deficit" because of not being able to visit a forest or a pond or some other natural area on a regular basis?  I'm interested in knowing your thoughts.  Thanks!
« Last Edit: May 14, 2011, 01:55:33 PM by Pravoslavbob » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2011, 02:28:46 PM »

Great text. I would recommend Neil Postman's The Disappearance of Childhood for many reasons, but in this case for one of the reasons contemporary Western society has structured itself to create this problem in the first place.

Being a parent is more challenging, if I can be a bit provocative and bait folks to reading the above text, because "parenting" in and of itself is disappearing because "children" and "adults" are disappearing.

Postman's thesis on why "children" (and thus adults) came to be in the first place and thus parenting is fascinating and one of the few texts (wildly approachable) that perhaps pre-figured and pre-visaged not only sociological changes but the thought of Niklas Luhman.

Postman's ideas with a little pushing in light of Luhman can be more radicalized from the realm of sociology to ontology, although this academic exercise is not necessary to appreciate the brilliance of Postman.

Highly recommended.
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« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2011, 03:38:08 PM »

I voted no, I think almost everyone who knows many young people will agree.  However, the problem is not only kids, the problem is our entire society (myself included).  There are nearly no people any more who get enough exercise, or who spend any significant amount of time outdoors (unless you happen not to have a car and have to walk everywhere).  People have become contented to stay inside watching the latest episode of Two and a Half Men on television, twittering about how they just had "The best chicken sandwhich EVER!", and playing Angry Birds.

I think that the solution to the problem would be more parents taking their kids to the park from the time they are very young, at least once a week, taking your kids camping on a semi-regular basis (obviously every weekend won't work, but maybe once a month or once every other month or so), and - perhaps - turning off all of the power in your house, except for the kitchen, for the entire day once every few weeks.
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« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2011, 12:46:34 AM »

No, definitely not. Though the young ones seem to be better at playing outside, as long as you can keep them from getting hooked on video games for a while. Not that I'm blaming video games totally--I had them when I was a kid, and still spent a lot of time outside. Today it seems to be different for a lot of kids though...
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« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2011, 06:05:56 AM »

No, definitely not. Though the young ones seem to be better at playing outside, as long as you can keep them from getting hooked on video games for a while. Not that I'm blaming video games totally--I had them when I was a kid, and still spent a lot of time outside. Today it seems to be different for a lot of kids though...

As a new father (5 month old), it is good to see some of the kids in my cul-de-sac (dead end street) still get together and kick around a footy or have a game of cricket. But this is an uncommon sight in the large city where i live.

I feel that time pressures and parents' desire for their children to succeed in today's world, puts less emphasis on having fun with friends and playing and more on after school tuition, music lessons, homework etc.

Asian people, Chinese and Korean in particular, are fanatical about their children succeeding academically thus the phenomenon of the "Tiger Mother". Imho these children are robbed of their childhood on the proviso that they will be financially successful one day, by studying and getting into the right college course (ie medicine, dentistry, law).
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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2011, 08:08:01 AM »

Asian people, Chinese and Korean in particular, are fanatical about their children succeeding academically thus the phenomenon of the "Tiger Mother". Imho these children are robbed of their childhood on the proviso that they will be financially successful one day, by studying and getting into the right college course (ie medicine, dentistry, law).

I was a raised by a (moderate) "tiger mom" and I still feel I had a very full childhood. I hung around in the woods all day, went camping, etc. Of course I am not a successful businessman, doctor, or lawyer, so maybe she wasn't enough of a tiger mom.  Wink
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2011, 09:39:27 AM »

I voted yes...I have 2 nephews who do moutain climbing and hiking and are active in Boy Scouts, a niece who does swimming and ballet, and another nephew who skateboards.
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