Children these days are not growing properly because they spend hours on the Internet rather than playing traditional outdoor games which teach them basic skills and prepare them for adult life, worry British educationists.
John Gibson, the Chairman of the Independent Schools Association, while speaking at the institution's annual conference in Manchester, said that many children brought up in the 50s and 60s were given more freedom to play outside.
"I believe much of what we did then was part of a primitive preparation for adult life," the Telegraph quoted him as saying.
"Through games such as conkers, den-building or even putting the chain back on an oily bike, we practised the skills we would later find useful, and we learned to face success and disappointment in equal measure. When your life is lived through images constructed by a technical genius from Silicon Valley played on a high definition screen, I just feel it will be more difficult to experience those important rehearsals for adult life," he added.
Gibson, who also happens to be the head of fee-paying Stoke College, Suffolk, said that home had become a "prison" to many young people.
"Now, many of today's parents live in a shadow of fear, afraid to let their children out of their sight for too long least something terrible should befall them. When William Wordsworth wrote 150 years ago that 'shades of the prison-house begin to close upon the growing boy' I believed he was talking mainly about school," he said.
"But today's prison-house is just as likely to be the home, a seductive, comfortable prison for boys and girls whose nimble fingers are adept at working their mobiles and computer games, but have never used them to play conkers," he added.
Gibson suggested that schools "help children be well prepared for life."
He said that schools had to abide by health and safety regulations, but insisted rules should not "cause our schools to wilt into a boring and ultimately futile educational wilderness that neither challenges or interests our children and is unable to prepare them fully for the world they will grow old in."