Opinion Piece: Watching Sports Is Not “Screen Time”
One of the biggest issues for young children (and even older children and adults) is screen time. You can’t go a day or two without seeing a study or think piece about screen time. Here is my quick rant to add to the mix. Whether it is watching The World Series, World Cup, Wimbledon, Wushu or any other sporting event, watching sports even on a screen should not be considered screen time. While watching sports, the viewer is in a sense playing along with the game and those mirror neurons are firing. They are thinking about what has happened, what is happening, and what will happen next. They are thinking about strategy. They are reading the emotions on the players faces. They are learning about statistics and science. While watching sports you might be talking with friends, family, or other fans watching the game. As parents and teachers of young children, we should watch sports with them, interact with them, and teach them how to be an active fan as opposed to a passive watcher so they can learn both the joy of sports and all the ancillary educational benefits that goes along with being an active sports fan. While, I agree that kids should not spend their entire day in front of an iPad watching Paw Patrol, let’s not equate watching sports with watching other things on screens. Watching the big game, sometimes can be the best way to bond with others and learn. If you don’t believe me, listen to Mr. Feeny.