“Go Outside and Play” · 18 July 2008

It seems that the words, “Go outside and play,” mean something different these days. I remember when our parents told us that, we would go ride our bikes, throw the ball around, or play hide and seek. Our oldest son, Thing 1, kicks the soccer ball or plays basketball. The younger boys, Thing 2 and Thing 3, seem to think that “going outside to play” means getting their hand-held game systems and playing them outside.

I must give my younger boys a little credit. They do play soccer and capture the flag. They also do other outdoor kid stuff like soaking each other and anybody else around with water from the kiddie pool. And on occasion, they even like to play basketball or tennis at the courts near our house. But by and large, when they say, “I’m bored,” they mean that they want to play video games.

My wife, The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi, likes to say that Thing 2 was born with a video game in his hands. She says this because I bought him a Nintendo Game Boy when he was only two. I always say that I got him the game system because he wanted to play Pokémon. But The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi always corrects me and says that it was because I wanted to play Pokémon. Of course, she is right, but the story sounds better when it is a two-year old wanting to play video games. After all, he really did learn to read when he was four because my wife did not want to read the words for him on some other video game. It was learn to read or stop playing video games for a couple years. Thing 2 chose to learn to read.

Recently, the two boys have been taking their Nintendo DSs outside to link up with the neighbors for Pokémon battles or Sessions of Mario Party. They even figured out that when it is time to come home, they can sit at the edge of the patio and still stay connected with the neighbors. Needless to say, that is not my idea of playing outside.

Even though my kids all like to play video games, that is not all they do. They like to play board games and cards and they entertain themselves with books. They like to play capture the flag and soccer and basketball and tennis. And they even like to play in the pool when the temperature gets into the eighties or nineties. They are active and healthy. So when I tell them to go outside and play, I am not too upset that they will sometimes take their hand-held gaming systems and play outside.

© 2008 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Published 07 August 2008 in The RiverCurrentNews


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