My wife and I have been discussing what to do about out boys.  We are worried about them and frankly, we are not sure what to do.  They both are good kids, get good grades, never in any trouble, have friends that they see virtually, however something has been troubling us.  They won’t go outside and play. Its probably too late anyway, they are old enough to take care of them selves, one is in College and one in High School.  But we sometimes worry, is so much time playing video games healthy?
            Now first I have to say that I really wish our neighbors had this problem.  Their children not only play but they also run, shout, scream, yell, cry, throw things, and make nuisances of themselves.  In short they act like rabid weasels on crack. Every evening until 10pm the kids are running around like they are peaked out on a sugar high waiting for Peter Pan.  One neighbor has at least six kids ranging from baby to pre-teens; another other neighbor has five kids, and on and on up the street.  Just driving down our court at night is an exercise in creeping along dodging kids.  It makes me what to buy the kids video games; maybe that will get the little monsters off the street.

            Anyway my wife and I are concerned that our kids are not getting enough exercise, no sun, and not enjoying the great outdoors.  At first I was sold on the idea that they needed to get outside and play. 

            I remember in my childhood years, hiking through the strip mines of Northern California, sailing on Folsom Lake, and taking long walks in the summer with my friends.  But sometime in High School, about the time I got my drivers license, two things happened.  First I started to become involved with playing Dungeons and Dragons.  Second video games started to become a viable form of entertainment.  So during my teen years I could be found either in an arcade getting a green screen tan, or in some darkened room playing D&D until sunrise.


             I came across this article on Fark


            Since reading the article I am sold on keeping kids indoors.  The article describes how children of today are not acting like we did when we were younger. They spend too many hours playing videogames and watching TV, when they should be outside enjoying mother nature.  There is even a PC term this.  The term is “nature deficit disorder”.  This makes my skin crawl. 

            I would have to suggest that the reverse would have been true of my childhood.  My parents couldn’t get me inside during the summer.  I guess I had a bad case of “Shelter deficit disorder”.  Oh how I suffered until video games were invented, banged knees, splinters, poison oak, bruises, scrapes, cuts, and all from the outdoors.

            How about when my kids were pre-teens? At my parent’s house we couldn’t get them out of the pool, would this be called ‘Aquatic overindulgence disorder’?  Another thing, my college age son has a bad case of ‘Awake deficit disorder’ on the weekends.

            Can I be so bold as to say that the experts that feel it is their duty to enlighten parents on the dangers of indoor activity may have a bad case of ‘intrusion enhancement disorder’?  

            Tend to your own garden; leave your neighbors weeds alone.




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