Friday, April 23, 2010

Run. Home. For Dinner.

Why is this one phrase so important to me? It symbolizes the many complexities in how children are being raised into one simple fragment.

Children don't run home for dinner anymore and here's why:

1. Run.
Kids are sitting more and running less. Sure, it is the obvious things: TV, computers, video games...But it may be the less obvious reasons that I'm more interested in. Children are never a lone. They are always with adults. "Run" implies a sense of freedom -- without limits or structure. Rooted in fear, and in some cases reasonably so, we don't open the door and let children go outside by themselves. If children are playing outside, they are running on soccer fields or running to the car to be taken to their extracurricular activities. They don't just run freely.

2. Home.
To Run Home, they have to be somewhere else. If they aren't outside in the first place, they won't be needing to run home. Many children are prisoners in their own homes since they can't go outside when their parents are at work. Many families may not get home to their kids until the sun sets. Moms and Dads come home exhausted from the day to children laying on the couch with a lot of untapped energy.

3. For Dinner.
There is no dinner on the table to run home to. Only 30% of Families eat meals together on a daily basis. In three decades, family meal time has decreased by 33%. These figures are almost a decade old themselves. These numbers are probably rising as fast as obesity prevalence.

So that's it? That's the end of the story? It will be if we don't do something about it.

I say,
1. Let kids run...alone.
2. Open the door
3. Set the table

and call them home for dinner...

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