Recently my kids have begun an initiative to get kids outside that they’ve called #getkidsout. I am very proud of all the work they have poured into their idea, but I think we all need a reality check. What I mean is that they wouldn’t be where they are without my help and guidance. We live in a world where the digital revolution is growing fiercely and quickly. It’s here to stay.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to peel kids away from screens. Partly because they are constantly normalized by the people that surround them…parents, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, and friends. These days, everyone has a smartphone or tablet. As parents, it is our responsibility to temper and monitor use.
My kids spend a lot of time outside, but do you know what? They also watch YouTube, login to Netflix and play computer games. And if I let them, they would probably become shut-ins with their screens. But that’s just it. I don’t let them. Instead, I make them go out even if they don’t want to. To be successful at getting kids outside, parents and caregivers need to grow a backbone. We need to set the example. We need to show them that there's fun to be had out there and we need to take the time to enjoy it with them. And I think, in the long run, it will set the groundwork for a deep appreciation of the beauty that surrounds us.
Screens are the paths of least resistance, and so I understand the ease of giving into the protest. And so I want to take this opportunity to commend the Moms and the Dads and all the caregivers, who take the time to resist the cries and still boot their kids out the back door.
To the army of people working on getting kids out: Good job!!!