NO, I don’t mean their fingers and thumbs. Children are meant to play outdoors and with their peers. Obviously, this current pandemic does not make that possible for the most part. I’ve always feared that due to this pandemic, our children are losing months or even up to years of physical activity and social skills that are necessary for their holistic development.
While our children are really safer at home, we have to understand that this is a challenge that we too must face.
In a research study, children below the age of five who spend more than two hours on a screen are 7.7 times more likely to develop Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder compared to children who spend 30 minutes a day only.
What’s happening to our children now? Most schoolwork is on a computer, their recreation, leisure and social life is on a computer! Our children are getting more screen time than some people who work in an office!
With the current situation what can and should we do?
Do something physical with your children
If you have access to a safe space or even in your living room, play and/or exercise with your children. I’ve seen some dads teach their daughters how to box on social media. It doesn’t have to be too strenuous, we have to be creative with what we have.
Board games could replace computer games
Chess, Scrabble, Monopoly — there are so many other games that we can do at home to get our kids away from screens and bond with the family.
Teach children some chores
This is something we could all have our children do. Teach them some responsibilities at home and let them take charge of it. At some point, our children will leave our homes. It’s good that we teach them life skills to help them on their way. Gardening, cleaning the dishes, even watering the plants are some things children can do.
There are more things we can do with our children at home. With an obesity epidemic happening in some parts of the world, we have to be mindful that your body mass index (BMI) at childhood is related to one’s BMI in adulthood. Let’s give our children an active start by helping them engage in physical activity. Stay safe!