Did you know, one out of three kids are considered overweight or obese? Many kids spend less time exercising and more time in front of the TV, computer, phone, or video-game console.

When going through your daily motions, it’s easy to not realize how many times we are eager to put a screen in front of our children’s faces. In fact, I’m willing to bet that most of you reading this don’t actually realize how many hours that adds up to, and I can’t blame you, an animated screen keeps them quiet when all you yearn for is exactly that, quiet. But you must realize, that’s not the way kids work, or at least should.

Think back to when you were little, and your parents did not have an iPad, or a phone to put in front of your face. What did they do? Your mind is probably drawing a blank because sadly, this has become a habit in modern day parenting.

Eating breakfast? Cartoons. Riding in the car? Cartoons. Sitting in a lobby? Cartoons. At what point, do electronics evaporate actual conversation?

Go back in time with me for a moment to when you were little. Remember waking up, groggy and sitting at the table for breakfast in silence because your mind was not ready to be stimulated yet?

Remember riding in the car and singing along to the Radio instead of watching a TV show?

Remember waiting in a lobby for your mom to get done doing whatever she needs to do in silence because God forbid you throw a tantrum? Yes, we all know what that ‘look’ meant.

If you were raised that way, why shouldn’t you carry those parenting styles over?

There is a reason the statistic of overweight children increases every year, and that’s because they are not playing outside anymore. They spend their time after school watching a program on the TV or on their iPads.

The Y recognizes this epidemic, and yes, I referred to it as an epidemic, because that’s what it truly is. Offering programs such as sports, swimming, karate and dance, the Y gives your family every opportunity to go back in time and live the life kids were made to live.

A life full of giggles, running around with their friends, and learning about friendship in reality, not virtually.

You have to understand, they will not get this time back, and when they grow up and look back on how they grew up, you won’t want them telling stories about how they played Football on the Wii, but they played football on a league.

Visit ymcaspbc.org/didyouknow for more information.