Admittedly, I was that parent with the vehement opposition to installing Pokemon Go on my kids’ phone. I thought to myself, “Hell no! I do not want my kids roaming around like zombies staring at their phones. Bad enough we have adults glaring into their phones, now the kids!?” Until, like all my other thoughts and words, I ate those words. Caving to the kid pressures,Â I allowed my teenage son to download the app to play this game. The decision was probably the best thing for The Chad, I, and our son. You see when G started playing, the kid got outside more. He started walking, and walking quite a bit. He would text me asking me for the conversion of kilometers to miles. The first day G played Pokemon Go, he walked over a mile and a half through our neighborhood. I was sold that Pokemon Go was the exercise app of the year.
I know, I know. Some of you are shaking your heads. How could I let my son roam the neighborhood without supervision? How could I let him play these silly games?
The process was easy. We created him an account online at PokemonGo.com, downloaded the app on his phone and set him free. We asked that he check in with us throughout his adventure, and he did. We asked that he carry water to stay hydrated, he did. We asked that he be aware of his surroundings while playing, so that he was aware of everything going on around him, and he did.
With the simple click into the app store, my kid was off and away exercising to his hearts desire. By exercise I mean walking for hours and miles. What better way to get kids moving and off the couch than with a video game that goes where they go. Some of you may be in shock and awe at my cavalier attitude regarding my son, plus my twins, roaming about our neighborhood. Playing a video game. With no adults. Helicopter parents might be experiencing some form of skin crawling reaction to the thought of kids in a neighborhood playing sans adults. The threat of child predators and dangers that lurk in the shadows. Here’s the thing, these dangers existed when we were kids and when our parents were kids. Stranger danger has always been a concern, we need not pretend this is a new problem.
These types of situations are what our children need in order to deal with awkward and dangerous situations before they are adults. Growing up we called child predators “weirdos.” As a gaggle of friends, or siblings, or individually, we would run away laughing at the “weirdos” and the new experience. Worse yet, we would stand our ground telling off the weirdos as we had strength in numbers. We learned to deal with uncomfortable situations that bordered on unsafe. Exuding our boundaries, finding escapades that lie in our neighborhood, using imagination, critical thinking, and learning some common sense. I can recall a home in our neighborhood with an amazing swing-set in the front yard. We would take the long way to school, just to stop there in the morning and play all by ourselves in the well manicured lawn of a stranger. Had we not wandered about as kids, we would never have found this gem that still brings back great memories of jumping off that same swing-set at high speed, barefoot, onto the dewy grass in the early autumn morning.
Maybe I sound reckless by allowing my kids to walk around our neighborhood for hours without a parent. I see sending my child off into the world to figure out basic things we take for granted; understanding landmarks, knowing your surrounding, possibly facing a situation where he/she should stand up for themselves and the chance of meeting new friends. Sending my kids into the world with little to no exposure to the harsh, stark reality of adulthood is more reckless in my eyes.
Above all else, my kids are moving! Pokemon Go has created an opportunity for them to go out and play around our neighborhood. While playing, they have had the opportunity to meet other neighborhood kids that attend different schools due to boundary lines. So while adults have their FitBit where they have made a game of tracking their steps. Pokemon Go has in essence created a very similar environment that gets kids, and adults alike, out and about, getting a healthy amount of exercise without any stress. How many of you have let your kids play Pokemon Go? What do you think? How many of you were like me and did not want your kids to play?
20 Replies to “Exercise App of the Year – Pokemon Go”
We ALL play in our family. My kids don’t have a phone of their own, and my husband’s phone is too old for Pokemon Go to work, so I share my phone with my kids. Also their Godparents play so often they wander around with them. I haven’t had the courage to send them alone to wander yet – but I have let them go to our neighborhood park (just 8 houses down) with their friends that live across the street from us. There’s a Pokestop at the pool (right next to the park), and there’s a gym at the park. So we’re often there loading up or challenging for the gym.
Pokemon Go is good for us adults too. I’ve actually been outside! Me! A vampire that likes staying inside the house in the dark! I’ve met other folks in the neighborhood. I’ve actually SPOKEN with them. The horror! We’ve had nice chats. Some of them were playing the game too and wandering about, and others were just out and about walking, jogging, or in their yards.
It’s a great way for both kids and adults to get out there and walk without actually feeling like their doing any exercise. I wish they’d raise the speed limit though to give bikers the opportunity to log their miles to hatch eggs and so on.
my grandson loves this , i have played along with him , great way to get the kids out and about enjoying the great outdoors 🙂
I’ve never played this game and I don’t know anyone that has.I hear a lot about the game though.
Not having children , listening to my friends and having the PokÃ©mon go issues as well..the majority all have enjoyed it as a family . Even the adults are getting in on it !
I haven’t played myself but know a lot that do play, I love that you have to go out and walk, such a great invention that gets you out and about!!
I haven’t tried Pokeman App yet and my kids are not into it yet, mainly because they dont have smartphones but hopefully soon!
As for allowing kids to wonder neighborhood, my opinion is there has, is and will always be danger but our jobs as parents is not to shelter our children BUT to teach our children to look after themselves so they can successfully live in todays world!!
I’ve heard great things about this. Also bad ones. My kids are too young for this and I really never had an interest. But if it’s still around when my kids get phones I’m sure they will be playing.
You know, as long as you know the kid is in your neighborhood/area, I think it will be fine. (Speaking from my own childhood, there were always neighbors watching.)
I am unsure of how I feel about this app. I do not have a phone that allows this but I know that it gets people out and not stuck indoors in a good thing.
How crazy is it that Pokemon of all things has gotten people active again!
Anything that helps kids to exercise more is great in my book!
My son and his friend play this a lot and it definitely does increase physically activity.
I kn ow through the summer so many people was talking about some app that was good for not only adults but children, Then I find out its this one LOL . I really like this and love that it gets you moving,,
love going on hikes with my son as he find and does the stops.
I love how this app has gotten people moving. The animal shelter in Muncie, IN used this app as a way to get exercise for the dogs there. People would take the dogs out for walks, finding Pokemon and giving the dogs much-needed exercise. In addition to that, many of the dogs got adopted – either by the volunteer walking them, their friends who saw their posts about it on social media, or people who saw the dogs being walked. Many more shelters have started similar programs. It’s been a great way for families to connect, too.
Very great exercising i was playing the whole time I’ve been pregnant
Oh you sound like I did! Then we caved… And it was so much fun for the whole family 😉 Like a virtual scavenger hunt!
I’ve never used this app before but I am sure that my grandsons would love it!
I couldn’t wait for the pokemon craze to pass!