Are The Kids of Today Lazy?

Discussion in 'Politics & Law' started by Hoosier_Daddy, Aug 16, 2006.

  1. Hoosier_Daddy

    Hoosier_Daddy Registered Member

    I spent some time reminiscing with a few old friends the other day and the subject of the lack of activity in kids today became a hot bed for discussion. All of us are close in age and were brought up in a generation where strong physical activity was a part of our daily lives. This was true pretty much all year round for us. We all found we were having issues with our kids wanting to stay tied to the house and their x-box instead of getting out.

    I had a Mom that would throw my older brother and I out of the house just shortly after breakfast every day in the Summer. We could come back for lunch and after we were done it was back outside with us. We'd hook up with a bunch of others kids our age and then we'd spend the days doing all kinds of different things. Playing baseball, basketball, swimming, riding our bikes all over the neighborhood, etc... for recreation. For spending money we would use two old push mowers (the kind without a motor) and go door to door asking for money to cut grass. We never looked to our parents as a constant source of entertainment or stimulation. We found it ourselves.

    Today with my sons and their friends this just isn't going on the way it was when I was young. Sure, they aren't allowed to loiter around the house all day, but they don't have near the enough ambition to entertain themselves for very long. There are just as many kids in my neighborhood for them to interact with as there were when I was young. Still, it's not very often I see any kids today getting together on their own like we used to. I mean, don't kids climb trees and build forts anymore? This begs the question of why is this happening for one, and two, is our experience the norm for other communities. Is it that the kids of today are lazy, or is it a by product of the negativity in society today?

    We read all the time that we are the most overweight nation in the World. The lack of recreational activity in todays youth has to play a huge part in the problem. Can it be fixed? I'm not so sure that it can. What I see is that as more and more entertainment is provided by an electronic medium, the further and further we're getting away from healty activity for our kids. This should really concern those of you that are still quite young. I believe that if the trend of laziness and sloth continues to spin out of control the welfare and general health of our nation is going to be in trouble in the not too distant future.


  2. Kazmarov

    Kazmarov For a Free Scotland

    It can't be fixed as long as advertising for available, low-activity entertainment and junk food dwarfs everything related to active, healthy lifestyles by such a vast amount.

    That's of course a partial generality. The kids I know that are constantly active and in great shape have parents that stressed simply going by how their body feels when it comes to health, and ignoring advertised B.S. They also eat a lot more fresh food, space their meals out a lot (7am, 12 pm, 8pm would be a three-meal day schedule for one of my friends), and walk/bike instead of ride in a car/drive when the difference is only a bit of time instead of something obvious, like conditions or safety.

    I've always been somewhat overweight, but this summer I got out and played a lot of golf (two camps, one 12 hours a day, the other seven), did some basic situp exercises, and killed time on F-C to avoid snacking (a case in which it's helped control my health), and I've had pretty good results. I'm not a model of health and fitness, but i'm pretty healthy for a guy whose never really been drastically into health stuff.

    Our nation's health has rapidly slid towards abysmal. Generally, the continuing slide of smokers will help things, but generally people need to get out when they can, and find ways to stop working insane hours if they have desk jobs so they can remain active.

    Kids need good parent role models. My dad was overweight by a good deal, but then he went on HMR (essentially a math diet, difficult but nearly impossible to fail if you follow it) and lost eighty pounds. Both of my parents go to gyms now. It's really inspired me to be more active and to understand that it's better to start the good habits early than do it the hard way when I get older.

    Stuff like the continual battle with vending machines in schools will probably benefit the youth population healthwise.
  3. SenatorB

    SenatorB J.S.P.S

    Have you considered that there simply aren't the same options now as there were when you were a kid, Hoosier? The way I hear things, as the decades go back, kids were allowed considerably more freedom to go make whatever mischief they wanted, now with all the safety issues and precautions that some parents take, it may be impossible for your kids to participate in some of the same activities. (I'm really not sure what age kids you're talking about so it's kind of difficult to tell I guess though). I know I used to play outside with my friends when I was a little kid a lot, but as I've grown older we've taken to doing things indoors that require less energy and imagination.

    There's also the difference in entertainment technology. However many years ago, the realm of outdoor excitement offered far more than indoor activities. Now, we have computers and TV and gaming consoles to keep us entertained, so we no longer need to turn to the outside out of boredom unless we choose to.
  4. Hoosier_Daddy

    Hoosier_Daddy Registered Member

    I'm fortunate in that my sons are close in age and are teenagers. They have the ability to spend time on physical activity together without a bunch of friends when they need to without feeling isolated. Don't get me wrong, they do have neighborhood friends they spend a lot of time with outdoors, it's just nowhere near the magnitude of the way we used to get together when I was young. I believe the same amount of options are available to the kids today, or at least they should be. But I wonder if we've become so over protective of our kids we're the biggest cause of the problem. The electronic entertainment that kids have today is a big part of the problem as well. For example a kid today feels just as stimulated scoring a touchdown on a Game Boy as he would had he actually ran an end around for 40 yards on a real football field. The only difference being one requires no physical strain while the other has a positive health benefit.

  5. breathilizer

    breathilizer Resident Ass-Kisser

    Are the kids lazy? Sure. But should we blame the kids? Certainly not. It is the parents who are to blame.

    Lazy children are the symptom, not the disease.
  6. Hoosier_Daddy

    Hoosier_Daddy Registered Member

    What do you think are the big contributors to the disease? Is it ignorance or apathy on the part of parents?

  7. eric

    eric Guest

    I don't think kids are lazy as much as they are spoiled, the blame has to be on the parents and society as a whole especially my and previous generations, we wanted things to be better, easier and less streuos for our kids, and along the way we forgot the value of discipline,responsibility, and hard work. We spoiled them and lowered their value system instead of raising it.
  8. Mecha

    Mecha Guest

    I think the problem is lack of parental involvment and support in showing how to make and how to have fun doing simple physical games. As well as neighborhoods w/o a good place to play (poorly designed playgrounds, security, transportation), nor the peer group-expectation-desire to do so. After a certain point of being deprived of the parental involvment/support for such activities, children simply grow to be more accustomed to relating through games or other things than the simple physical games. Schools are purging such things, parents workloads are increasing, and video games being a widely accepted form of entertainment (and there is NOTHING wrong with that) simply add up to that neglect on those simple physical entertainment games is showing more than ever.

    And god forbid people actually level with their kids about how they need excersise, and help them find at least one hobby they like that fulfill's their need for exertment/fresh air/sun light rather than make it unpleasant and making the problem worse.

    I agree with part of the sentiment, but I don't think it is so much that because things have been made better(materially and structure-wise) people are worse, it is that value of work and enjoyment in creative enterprise has been severely lacking, if not purged with the busy-work of all too much time wasted in public eduation and without parental support thereof, for example in developing serious skills and interests.

  9. Kazmarov

    Kazmarov For a Free Scotland

    Most of the schools around my house have sports fields filled 24/7 by club sports and competitive leagues for kids, and the parks' playgrounds have been toned down in scale in the interests of keeping maintenance down. Couple that with less recess in schools, and increased access to junky food during lunch (either from the vicinity of the cafeteria itself), and the conditions are all set for unhealthy, "lazy" kids. Options are getting limited if kids don't have access to healthy food or free sports facilities.
  10. Tatertot

    Tatertot Guest

    Does hanging around on this forum make me a lazy kid? : )

    Anyway I think that yes, kids these days are lazy (or at least lazier than previous generations). One huge issue in this debate is the internet. The internet has allowed this generation to connect and socialize without ever meeting each other in person. The way they view it is "Why hang out with just a few friends when I can sit in my nice air conditioned room and talk to all my friends". I for one really dislike this trend for several reasons

    1. I don't have a computer in my room, and my sister hogs the computer.
    2. I'm 17 and I think myspace is retarded, but it seems all my friends are on it all day.

    The situation is really bad during the summer. When I get home from work at around 3 I want to do stuff with my friends but they seem to never want to do anything.

    There are some other reasons too. One of my friends has a mom who is the most overprotective mom there is. ex. I went up camping with them at a lake this summer. (mainly for wakeboarding). I was not allowed to leave the campsite without another person. She makes everyone in the car turn off their cell phones at gas stations. (Although this one is rather funny) etc. She actually prefers to have my friend inside the house so that she "can keep an eye on him". So instead of going outside and hanging with friends he will play world of warcraft for up to 12 hours at a time (with some of my other friends).

    A solution to get kids to be more active? Don't subsidize their indolence. If they want a new computer make them work to buy one. (My parents are HUGE believers in this, and it works, even though I bitch about it alot). At young ages get them involved in sports (However don't go to the other extreme and become one of the parents that forces their kid into 3 sports and makes them miserable about it). Restrict screen time (computer and tv) to a set time. Are these measures draconian? maybe, but they will work.

    Oh yeah and have them get a boy/girl friend. That will take up most of their time ; )

Share This Page