Nature Deficit Disorder Horror
Regular outdoor play really does matter an awful lot, so parents need to think back to when their grandparents were kids, and push the youngsters into playing more out in the bosom of nature
Nature Deficit Disorder Horror
The awful truth of their being up to a full half of all kids in the of UK who buy into ridiculous notions such as cows needing to hibernate in winter, and that no natural remedy exists for nettle stings has been clearly revealed in a new survey that puts them squarely into the bracket of being victims of what has been dubbed Nature Deficit Disorder, the awful new scourge of modern society.
Incredibly, the survey shows, on average, two-thirds of modern children play outdoors only once in any given week. while an astounding 30%+ have not been on country walks for at least a year whilst 20% of those surveyed had NEVER climbed a tree or actually physically been to any kind of farm. Other questions put demonstrated painfully the sorry fact of owls being less familiar than TV characters to the average child, # outdoor play no longer a normal pastime.
Only 30 years ago now, kids would cheerfully go miles from home, both to play, explore and learn, but quite dramatic shifts in parental attitudes these days make such behaviour impossible. With around 50% of all adults believing that unsupervised outdoor play, for kids under 14 should not be allowed, more kids get hurt at home these days.
In some respects, this makes things pretty grim, these foolish parents blissfully unaware that curiosity and drive to explore in children, gaining exposure to natural dangers and helping them develop stronger immune systems is partly fuelled by drives that nature provided, which ought not to be ignored. A growing body of evidence now supports the argument that what children learn about the natural world, and what they what they experience within it are important to their development.
Professionals in the fields associated with such things maintain that children not being given access to play in natural surroundings find this adversely impacts not just on their development as individuals, but also on their health and their contribution to society as a whole, a very worrying trend which American writer Richard Louv named as Nature Deficit Disorder.
It is a sad fact that some very profound changes to the relationship most kids have with nature are having negative connotations, things normal in my childhood - the climbing of trees, building of dens, collecting of frogspawn are all things actively discouraged today - yet they are the very basic stuff of a completely healthy childhood.
We all understand the unspoken fear of child abduction by persons unknown, but the UK risk quite literally has odds of a million-to-one against that happening, but there is also the fear of peer pressure and violence - encouraged in part by the modern computer games - making the parental attitude a serious problem that needs to be addressed. Do parents truly imagine that the spreading epidemic of childhood obesity, and the unhealthy lifestyles they impose upon those children are not caused partly at least by their refusing to let the kids roam free in the outdoors?
Conditions such as ADHD and other hyperactivity disorders, along with children's psychological and emotional wellbeing, show significant improvements, as indeed do learning abilities, creativity and mental development just through outdoor activity - even a mere five 5 minutes so-called green exercise, out in the fresh air, producing rapid improvements all round.
If like me you belong to those generations for whom indoor play was unknown, you will be well aware from experience that outdoor activities boosted ability to focus, taught us self-discipline and gave us not only problem-solving skills, but improved our ability to co-operate with others and boosted our self-awareness, reduced our aggressive tendencies and generally made us both happier and healthier children. Regular outdoor play really does matter an awful lot, so parents need to think back to when their grandparents were kids, and push the youngsters into playing more out in the bosom of nature. trust me, they will love it.