Society is telling kids that the future is in technology. Between the internet, TV, and video games, American kids spend an average of 6.5 hours a day hooked up to one machine or another. My daughter came home the other day with a shocking fact, “most of my friends watch 5 hours of TV a day.” This frightening information is becoming a disturbing and unhealthy trend in kids today.
According to The Daily Green, Pediatricians see fewer kids with broken bones from climbing trees and more with stress injuries related to playing video games. Although some people like Steven Johnson author of “Everything Bad Is Good For You” believe that this technology boom is making our kids smarter, only exposure to nature causes children to use all 5 senses at one time. Nature Deficit Disorder is a term used to describe the human cost of alienation from nature. People whom experience diminished use of the senses, attention difficulties, and higher rates of physical and emotional illness are among the kinds who suffer from NDD. Although this is a growing problem among American kids, there are plenty of things parents can do to help prevent NDD. The National Wildlife Federation recommends that parents give their kids one “Green Hour” per day. This hour would include unstructured play time outside among nature. Parents enthusiasm towards nature will encourage kids to get outdoors says Richard Louv author of “Last Child in the Woods”. Outdoor play will cause children to play more creatively, be healthier, develop stronger immune systems and have fewer symptoms of ADD and ADHD. There are many things parents can do to encourage their kids to do more in the outdoors. Starting family traditions like fishing, hiking, and picnicking is a good start. Walking to school instead of driving and taking daily trips to your local park are also great ideas. Helpful Links: