If I were to ask you what you wanted for your children’s future, you’d probably say something like, ‘I would just want them to be happy and healthy.’ That’s the answer I would give, too, but our systems and actions do not support that parental desire.
Children are becoming less and less active. Children play fewer sports, spend less time outside, and most school systems see physical activity as a luxury to be minimized, not a necessity to be maximized.
We also understand the tight connection between movement and mental health. Yet how much effort is put into the structure (both familial and social) of daily activity for our kids?
The story of the sea squirt (a sea animal who eats its brain once it plants roots in the seabed) is a cautionary tale of the tight junction between movement and the mind. Without the need to move, the brain becomes less relevant.
I’m getting into the weeds a bit here, but you get the point. There is an incongruency between what we say we want for our kids and what we are providing for our children. We buy ‘baby Einstein’ toys and iPad games that are supposed to sharpen the minds of our little ones without recognizing the fact that play is an essential tool for learning in early years.
If you want a healthy and happy child, get her outside. Put him in Gymnastics. Roughhouse. Play hide and seek. Get off of your ass and be the example and the playground for your children. The inability to move is the inability to think (unless, of course, you are Stephen Hawking), so fight for your child’s right to movement.