Getting Our Kids Outside Again

Reading Time: 4 minutes


Recently Kevin Price, Host of the nationally syndicated Price of Business Show, welcomed Paul Vecchione to provide another commentary in a series.

The Paul Vecchione Commentaries

Maybe it’s an old saying, maybe it’s cliche, maybe we don’t want to hear it, but “back when I was a kid”..takes on a new meaning when it comes to kids playing outside. Because back in the day, it’s what we did. 

While the institutions of public schools brought us all together to learn, it also served as a meeting point for interpersonal communication, relationship building, community bonds and friendships. If you were lucky, you formed relationships with a few friends who lived in your neighborhood, who shared your common interests and who were your go to cohorts when it came time to have some fun, outside of school and outside of your home. Key word here: outside.

But in today’s digital age, times they are a changin, and not for the better. Kids today have a myriad of options that prevent them from being outside and connecting with other kids the way each generation had before them. Video games, social media, cell phones, tablets and so forth, have all but robbed our kids of the best part of growing up, being outside until dusk, when the street lights turned on and it was time to go home and eat dinner with family. 

The research about these issues is clear: the more time spent on social media and cell phones and the less spent with actual physical and emotional contact is adding to the stress and anxiety of our kids, which leads to more pressing issues as they continue to progress throughout their teenage years. 

Amid these burgeoning concerns over social media, bullying, excessive screen time, and a myriad of other challenges, there’s a pressing need to rekindle this spirit of outdoor adventure in our children—a remedy that’s both contemporary and urgent because the significance of outdoor play in the developmental fabric of young lives cannot be overstated. 

It’s not merely a backdrop for childhood memories but a vital component of healthy mental, physical, and emotional development. As kids navigate through the complexities of modern childhood, marred by the specters of anxiety, stress, and an alarming inclination towards substance use, the call to action is clear: we must strive to get our kids back outside, embracing the natural world with open arms.

Outdoors is where real, tangible experiences foster resilience, creativity, and a sense of belonging. The benefits are manifold; beyond the obvious physical health advantages, outdoor play is instrumental in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression in children. It serves as a counterbalance to the sedentary, screen-bound lifestyle that has become the norm for many, offering a breath of fresh air both literally and figuratively.

Moreover, the natural environment is a masterclass in mindfulness for young minds. It teaches children to be present, to observe, and to engage with their surroundings in a way that screens simply cannot replicate, and it helps develop the social skills that are crucial for healthy relationships, building a sense of community and support that can act as a buffer against the isolating effects of social media and screen time in the digital world.


In promoting outdoor play, we’re not merely longing for the “good old days” but advocating for a fundamental human need—the need for connection, with nature and with each other. This is a call to parents, educators, policymakers, and communities to prioritize and facilitate outdoor experiences for our children. It’s an investment in their future, fostering a generation that’s not only healthier but more environmentally conscious.

The path forward is clear. As we strive to mitigate the impacts of anxiety, stress, and substance use among our youth, the solution lies not only in our hands but also under our feet—in the grass, the dirt, and the landscapes of play that await outside our doors.

We need to answer this call with open hearts and open doors. For the sake of our children’s present and future well-being and for more empathetic, and resilient kids, it is up to us to get our kids back outside again, let’s do it. 



Paul was born and raised in Suffolk County Long Island and has called it home for the past 40 years where he and his wife are raising their two children. Paul has been an educator on Long Island since 2004 and holds two master’s degrees from Long Island colleges. With so much vested in this region, Paul has taken a keen interest in what has become one of Long Island’s most devastating realities; substance abuse and addiction. Having worked with teenagers his entire professional career, Paul offers a unique perspective into the mitigating factors that drive adolescent behaviors, particularly those which can lead to destructive decisions. Substance abuse and its ensuing crippling effects on the lives of people and their families has Paul’s attention and it is for these reasons Paul is the CEO of Long Island P.R.E.P. and Mission Z Podcast.

Connect with him through social media:

Twitter/X: @PLongislandprep

Learn more at


For more great lifestyle content see here.


Related posts

Leave a Comment