We love to say things to our kids like “when I was your age, we never had more than 3 channels on our television, and they were all in black and white.” Our parents did it to us and we do it to our kids. Truth be known, there is always something to learn from our forefathers. Often, kids don’t want to listen to us because they think they know better. Every once and awhile though, a person of notoriety, a hero from the past will say something that leaves a mark. I grew up in the days of the six original national hockey league teams, and one of my favourite players to watch was Bobby Orr.
Now a retired hockey hero, when Bobby speaks, people listen. Check out this quote from Bobby Orr;
“I’m not trying to tell anyone not to watch TV, but if you’ve ever spent a long winter afternoon playing shinny with the whole neighbourhood, or a summer playing softball with anyone who shows up at a diamond, you will know that kids who don’t have the chance to organize themselves and solve their own problems and feel the exhilaration of sport for its own sake are missing out on something irreplaceable.”
Our society today looks to the “village” to provide sport activities for children. Organized sports are great in so many ways, but unorganized sport activities are the foundation of physical and mental health. Impromptu games spark creativity, collaboration, conflict resolution, competitive juice, self-confidence and numerous other social skills fundamental to the development of a child. I would encourage you to “nudge” your children to drop the video game controller, step away from the television, put away the cell phone and try something different. Try an activity with the local kids on the street just for fun. They’ll be glad they did.