There was a time when children spent most of their time playing outside. That is no longer the case. Children spend most of their time indoors playing video games or watching TV. Is the lack of contact with nature affecting your child’s well-being?
Is Nature Deficit Disorder Affecting Your Children?
If you think about your childhood, would you say your children are as active and spend as much time outdoors as you used to? There’s a crazy amount of technology in our lives. Technology is a wonderful thing, as it facilitates life for us in many ways. However, it seems like technology is also winning over spending time outdoors, and that can handicap your kids’ childhood.
One study found that of 8,950 parents, only 51 percent went outside with their children once a week. Not to mention, nearly half the preschoolers in the same study had no parent-supervised outside opportunities at all.
Source: Active Kids
What is Nature Deficit Disorder?
Nature Deficit Disorder is a phrase from the 2005 book called Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv, and it refers to humans, especially children, spending less and less time outdoors, which can result in various behavioral problems.
Richard Louv has stated “nature deficit disorder is not meant to be a medical diagnosis but rather to serve as a description of the human costs of alienation from the natural world”
What Are the Consequences?
Nature Deficit Disorder is one of many things that can contribute to childhood obesity. The number of children and adolescents that suffer from obesity has increased over the years.
The lack of exposure to nature can add to the list of causes of ADHD. Children who struggle with this tend to have problems sleeping and even attending school.
Raising an Indoor Generation
Previous generations spent tons of time outdoors during their childhood and, eventually, they passed that on to their children. As the current and upcoming generations spend less and less time outdoors, they will most likely not promote outdoor activities with their kids, resulting in an indoor generation of people.
Foster outdoor family traditions or bring back traditions that you might have left behind. Plan a camping trip or a picnic, or go hiking or whitewater rafting with your family. Being intentional in keeping an active lifestyle involving outdoor activities with your loved ones can prevent Nature Deficit Disorder in future generations.