Monday, December 11, 2006

nature-deficit disorder

I'm reading a marvelous book by Richard Louv called Last Child in the Woods, Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. It may seem like a startling concept, that the absence of nature in the lives of our children can be linked to the trends we observe in today's children, the rise in obesity, attention disorders, and depression. Louv brings together many telling anecdotes and much relevant research to demonstrate just how distanced we and our kids are becoming from the natural world. As a prescription for a saner world, Louv's book might be very helpful and I wish every parent, educator and health care professional could read it. Maybe developers, city planners, and politicians at every level, etc. should too.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know four new parents i would like to give this book too.
think only one of them might appreciate it and its expensive.
wish I had time to give them instead.

3:12 PM  
Anonymous M Sinclair Stevens (Texas) said...

This sounds like an interesting book. I'm going to put it on my reading list. I've thought about this topic, too, watching my son grow up in apartments and condos and not making any connection to the outdoors. More and more houses today are built with tiny yards. And children don't roam the neighborhoods unsupervised as we did. I believe that architecture (and this includes the relationship of indoor and outdoor space) has a big impact on psychological and sociological development.

I volunteer at the Green Classroom. The children who come live in the projects. They come alive in the garden. Just being able to dig a hole, rake leaves, and find a bug brings them incredible joy. It's sad to realize that a generation of children is so cut off from the natural world. If we cut our connection to nature, we change something fundamental in ourselves--and I don't think the change is for the better.

6:03 PM  
Blogger Kati said...

just thinking about how differently I grew up, even in the suburbs of one of the biggest cities in Canada, how freely I ran about in the woods (mostly with my brothers, mind you, being more of a tomboy than most of my girlfriends), I'm shocked at how little freedom children have today. However, I'd probably be just as restrictive as my daughter is with my granddaughter...Is it really such a different world? If it is, it is very sad!

5:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kat, I received the book (by Amazon yesterday, thanks again for that hint.
I will have more time over Christmas to read, but that is exactly my subject!
And I am afraid the bringung up of children has changed completly, even in such small villages where my nieces and nephews are living.

4:40 AM  
Blogger Kati said...

Sisah, I wondered if it was just a North American problem, but your comment makes me think it might be a universal one. Where has all the fear for our children come from? We got into scrapes as children, but we went(or were sent;))back outdoors anyway.

12:29 PM  

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