Are Our Children Lazy?

BBC London had a phone in today discussing whether our children are lazy. This was supported by research suggesting that one in six children cannot swim and one in ten cannot ride a bike. The study found British children were more than twice as likely to spend their free time watching television (79 per cent) than playing sport (34 per cent).

The study apparently surveyed 1500 children. This surely cannot be representative of British children to make such a brash statement that our children are lazy.

Children today are engaged in so many activities. There are clubs, groups, lessons etc… Parents are referred to as taxis dropping off their kids to karate, swimming, football, gymnastics, ballet etc… So who can blame these children for also wanting to watch half an hour of television or play on their gameboy. They are already doing sports.

This minority of children surveyed in this study is not a true reflection of British children and I am quite offended that our children are referred to as lazy. Many of the children that I encounter on a daily basis are far from lazy.


7 Comments to “Are Our Children Lazy?”

  1. Perhaps it’s not the children who are lazy but their parents and also lazy surveying and analysis of data. I agree that it’s unhelpful to brand a nation’s children lazy from such a small sample. There are sports clubs everywhere but children need support and encouragement like the taxi service!

    I wasn’t into sport as a child and I am still not interested in any sport to a large extent but I was certainly not a lazy child. Sports are not the only interests a child can have and it’s mean to say so.

  2. Are parents lazy? We work our asses off to keep a roof over our heads, get our children into the right schools and pay for all these extra curricula activities from sports to music classes that seem to cost an arm and a leg.
    I sincerely think that life is so different now to when I grew up. Families lived closer together so there was much more support. Their mortgages weren’t almost 9.5x our salaries so they had extra cash. More often than not, both parents weren’t working. Families could survive on one parent working. Even when both parents were working, there seemed to be a better work/balance life. I don’t think we should be so hard on parents who often are really trying to the best they can by their children.
    I also agree with you Bubbly that sports shouldn’t be the only release. My daughter at the moment loves gardening and painting and spends most of her free-time nurturing her plants or painting them. Free time is also spent baking and one of our favourite games is picking an object and creating a story. All of these things are play but are not in this survey.

  3. I’m not saying parents don’t work hard nor am I harking back to yesteryear but some parents are lazy and stick their kids in front of the tv even if only one parent works.

    My point wasn’t to be hard on parents but I don’t think people who have children derserve praise either. Entertaining a child doesn’t have to cost a lot of money and most after-school clubs are free but children participating in activities is directly dependent on their parents interest and involvement.

  4. I think there is a strong element of people using tv and gameboys as a form of babysitting. I had an interesting conversation about this today with an Austrian friend of mine. She complains that the tv is always on in her husband’s family’s house. He is South Indian. At home, her children rarely watch television but when they go to the grandparents or aunties house, they just sit in front of the tv not really interacting with each other. The children play computer games. At her parent’s house which is in the countryside, the children are always outdoors. I think about many Asian households and can say that those that I visit have always got the tv on. Also, the tv is this massive thing centralised and mounted on the main wall.
    Is it a cultural thing???? Is it the consequence of growing up in the 80’s and 90’s when entertainment technology advance so rapidly and our children are a product of that?
    Just quickly on the point about after school clubs. Unfortunately I am yet to find ones that are free. Maybe this is a London thing…. Only today another friend spoke of how her daughter’s keyboard lessons as part of her music classes have stopped receiving funding so now the parents have to pay towards them.

  5. Both my children have an interest in tv, however, they also have other interests and activities which they are involved in. As their parent, i have the responsibility of ensuring that there is a healthy balance. I also feel that cartoons have been beneficial to their development. The cartoons she watches encourage her to get up and be involved..such as ‘little einsteins’ or ‘lazytown’. She has also picked up a few spanish words from ‘dora’ and started humming some mozart, again picked up from ‘little einsteins’. ‘agent oso’ encorages problem solving skills. I could go on & on. I understand the point that some children might watch too much tv. I have a neice in that situation & her parents are to blame.

  6. I don’t understand the point. you say that apparently 1500 children were surveyed and then disagree with it by citing your ‘survey’ of just your children. just because you consider your children are not lazy, how does this discount what is probably a credible survey as it was being referred to by a radio station. surely your sphere of friends are similar to yours and you are simply ‘interested’ middle class parents. there are a lot of parents out there that plonk their children in front of tvs as they are uninterested in their children or just exhausted from work. britain has a problem with obese children so it follows that a lot of them are lazy.

  7. I think using the term “lazy” was just sensationalist by the radio station.

    Most of the children I meet are not lazy, but.then again I agree with Anon above – social background must be a factor. As Bunty points out, keeping kids entertained sounds pricey!

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