All of us who come from an older generation remember our childhood being spent in the lap of nature and playing games with kids of our age. It wasn’t that long ago when children spent their growing years playing make-believe games, hide and seek and hopscotch. But something went wrong along the way. These days, one is more likely to come across kids glued to their smartphone screens playing video games rather than indulging in free play outdoors. As a result, both the kids’ health and concentration levels are going south. Various researches have traced its reason back to their preference of video games over sports.
As parents, we are constantly comparing our growing years to how our children are spending their childhood. They sure do have better education and more exposure but somewhere, the simplicity is gone, thanks to the Internet. When we were kids, we would let our imagination run wild. We were explorers one day and builders the next day. We spent most of our time outside our homes. On the contrary, we hardly let our kids go outdoors. Sure, the open spaces have disappeared and security has become a concern but that does not mean we keep our kids from doing things that children should do.
One of the most important reason for which sports should be given preference over video games is that sports protects our children from certain diseases while video games increase health risks. People who go out and regularly play games get a healthy amount of exercise. You will very rarely find a sportsman suffering from obesity. It is also a scientifically proven fact that sports prevents hypertension, by keeping the heart and blood vessels healthy. Video games, contrastingly, have no health benefits whatsoever, and they pose major threats to the eyes because staring at a screen for long hours hampers eyesight.
Childhood is the best time for teaching certain life lessons because the mind is fresh and uncorrupted. Ideas picked up in childhood can last throughout life. Team sports improves communication between children. They lead them to develop healthy relationships with each other and encourage them to build mutual respect and cooperation. Playing a sport promotes discipline. When a child is involved in games with other children, he is more likely to learn lessons on decision-making and dexterity. These lessons stay through life. Also, creativity is boosted when a child spends more time playing. When children are involved in free play, they make their own games and rules. They are more imaginative and more prone into believing that nothing is impossible. This self-cultivated approach towards life lets them become accomplishers later on when they grow up.
Free play fills your child with a whole lot of positive energies whereas most smartphone games exposes children to negativity such as violence, greed and misbehavior. Children, in their innocence, are inclined to believe that it is real. This results in negative emotions infiltrating a child’s mind.
If your child suffers from a deficit of concentration and is fickle minded, encourage your child to play more. It is a proven fact that sports boosts concentration levels among children. Play increases a child’s ability to focus on a single object with greater attention. If your child settles down to do Math right after he has finished playing a game of football, chances are that he/she will get more problems right. Screen time, these days, can be accessed from more gadgets than one. If not the phone, smart TVs and laptops can always become a substitute. Parents often seem to handover their phones to pacify their kids. Worse of all, many children are habituated to eating their meals with their eyes fixed on screens. Small things that seem insignificant now might have a lasting effect on their behaviors as well.
Playing on smartphones leads us to move farther away from human interactions and intimacy. It is our responsibility to provide our children with an environment that makes them imaginative, creative, proactive and strong. Playing outdoors helps children conquer fears and prepares them for the future.
At One10, free space will never be a limit. Children would have the opportunity to explore the sport of their choice. They could learn to hit a great smash at the Badminton court, score a slam-dunk in a game of basketball, run along the nature trail, climb the ropes at the jungle gym, play tennis, sand volleyball or splash away with joy in the water slides of the Olympic length swimming pool.
With 70% of open spaces there is always going to be enough and more options that children would find more interesting than playing on smartphones.