20 March 2019
When the girls at the J-Team started singing an old skipping rhyme, I was intrigued. For you don’t see girls out with their skipping ropes very much nor boys kicking footballs against the gable end.
Research by the National Trust has shown that children now play outside for just over four hours a week! Their parents who are much younger than me played outside for twice as long.
The researchers comment that even they were beginning to retreat indoors. Nowadays children spend far more time on their screens – television and computer. And have essentially lost the freedom of the street and hill.
Two things have happened. The first is that parents have become too intrusive and spend far too much time organising their children’s lives. If they are not present, another responsible adult is drawn in. More often than not, a grandparent.
The second is that children suffer from a surfeit of things which are bought to entertain and stimulate them. They are all external. They do not come from within. Once again, the inner life is unacknowledged and even neglected.