I was talking to one of my parents the other day reminiscing about how we used to spend a lot of time outdoors playing when we were growing up. We used to play in the woods, climb trees, play in the mud, play hide and seek; we even hiked and camped. I learned how to build my first camp fire with my father in the woods across from my house.
This conversation reminded me of a book I read not that long ago called the Last Child In The Woods, authored by Richard Louv.
First, let me warn you.
This is a very scholarly book and reads very much like a Master’s thesis or Ph.D. paper – translation – it’s a slow read.
But, if you can hang in there, it does a marvelous job exploring the consequences of kids today not being exposed to the outdoors. The author reminds us parents that we are raising a generation of children who spend little to no time in the woods, thus suffering from what Mr. Louv describes as a “nature deficit disorder”.
Kids today spend practically all of their time indoors……playing video games, game boys, watching kids television channels, kids Dvds, etc. I think technology is largely to blame for the number of kids that never leave the house to go outside.
This book reminds us the role that nature can play in our lives and how it can affect our personality.
While I do recommend you read the book to fully understand what nature deficit disorder means, I found this video on line that does a pretty good job describing Mr. Louv’s findings:
After reading this book, I couldn’t help but think back to my own youth.
I remember spending 1,000’s of hours exploring in the woods, climbing trees, looking for insects, playing in streams, getting muddy and wet and getting lots of healthy exercise.
Fast forward 30 years — and today’s kids spend nearly all of their time indoors — some because of over-anxious parents worried their child will be abducted, and others, simply because children have video games, DVD movies, and that “drug with a plug” called the television.
We are raising a generation of “couch potatoes”!
Because self defense is more than just kicking and punching! We need to help remind our children that our planet has a finite amount of resources and we should do as much as we can to protect and preserve our planet! The only way we can learn this is by spending time with nature.
I want to encourage my students and their families to get outside the house and play outdoors. There is so much beauty that surrounds us, yet with our busy schedules, we often walk right past it without noticing it.
You can find it on Amazon.com here: Last Child In The Woods
Now, go on!
Get outside with your kids and explore!
Most importantly, go out and have some fun