Why Our Kids Need to Slow Down and Have Some Pizza
The object of teaching a child is to enable him to get along without his teacher.” – Elbert Hubbard, American writer, publisher and artist
Earlier this year I took a yoga class for the first time in many years and I wrote about it on my blog, the52weeks.com. I loved the class. I loved how it made me feel and I loved how it calmed my spirit despite my busy mind and anxious personality. Initial resistance aside, I was determined to go and embrace it for many reasons. I had long been aware that “everyone else” was in the know and I felt extremely left out!
Simultaneously, I found myself looking more intently at the 5th grade world my fast-paced, super-tech-savvy, 10-year-old daughter inhabited and I found myself worrying (more than usual). Our kids are just going too fast — and not just 4th and 5th graders. Lately, more than ever before, I have been noticing really young kids constantly looking down at some sort of hand-held device playing games, texting, whatever. My daughter, within the last month, has come home from school and been on Skype with friends. On weekends I often find her playing Nintendo Wii or e-mailing with sleep-away camp friends a bit too often. What was this doing to her brain? Was it really teaching her the skills she needed?
I love all the new technology but I worried about what my daughter was missing as she grows up in this non-stop, technology-driven world. Would she ever know the thrill of unexpectedly seeing the cute boy she has a crush on on campus or would her friends alert her first via text message? Would she ever truly learn what it means to engage in rewarding, face-to-face communication at work, in stores or on line at the bank or would she be looking down at her phone, stressed out and busy – not even knowing how to stop if she wanted to? Would she, like me, find herself one day searching for solutions in yoga, meditation or spirituality in order to slow down?
We are producing strung-out kids; we are creating a world for them that is too busy. Kids are over-scheduled and the fact is they don’t know how to regulate their speed and their bodies for maximum success. I was in my mid-40’s before I embraced yoga. Why should our future CEO’s, politicians and athletes wait so long?Continued on the next page