As I am driving home from school, I call my children to see how they are and to check in on them. My daughter answers and I ask her what her and her brother are doing. She informs me that she is hula hooping. I think that is great. Wait, we don’t have a hula hoop. So I ask her again what she is doing, clearly thinking I misunderstood her. She again says she is hula hooping, as I somewhat dismiss what she says she is doing, because I am not sure what she means. Not living far from school I get home pretty quick and walk in to see my daughter doing this circular motion with her hips, tilting her body side to side. She is hula hooping on our WII Fit.
While I believe it is great that the WII Fit is revolutionary at getting people to move around while playing video games, it also takes away from us actually going outside to get our exercise or entertainment. You can run, hula hoop, dodge soccer balls, ski jump, yoga, strength train and dance, to name just a few of the available activities.
I believe we are losing some aspect of our awareness for letting children be children. Letting our kids run around outside and play outside. Some people find it satisfactory to let their children play on the computer or do video games all day. Some may argue that video games will increase our children’s hand eye coordination; that it will make them great surgeons who operate robotic arms in surgery. But what are we depriving our children of?
Will playing in front of the TV all day increase our child’s social skills? Will it expand their imagination? Will it allow them to flourish in art, sports and music? Can the violence in video games increase the violence our children display?
I believe that we as adults need to set limits. Yes, video games are fun. They are interactive and some are educational, but they should not be our children’s babysitter, nor are they meant to replace our children’s outside activity. We need to go outside and use a real hula hoop!
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