This USA Today article reports on the increasing trend for children to spend most of their free time playing video games, watching TV, or surfing on the Internet. Outside events tend to be scheduled, and children are six times more likely to play a video game than ride a bike.
"I call him the caveman because he never leaves his room," says one father. "He comes out now and then for dinner, but he can't eat with us. He has to get back to his game."
The consequences are many - a loss of family time (never give up the family dinner), less face-to-face sharing and conversation, less 'downtime' - important for relaxation, incubating ideas, certain creative pursuits, less time with nature, physical activity, building, and tinkering.
Sometimes a little 'popcorn' for the brain is OK for a brain break, but children can also get caught up in immersive quality of the media, and not know when to quit. If you're a media junkie, try turning off the media yourself. Think about growing up some family traditions - a family walk after dinner, family game night, cooking together, reading books outloud together, building things or playing music together.
Childhood Moving Indoors
Hitting the Off Button
Family that Plays Together