Monday, March 19, 2012

New Disease Found in America's Youth

“There is a fear of nature itself” and of allowing children to play outdoors or explore the outdoors, although he believes the media have “amplified” both out of proportion, Louv said in a telephone interview from San Diego, where he lives. “I want to make clear I’m not saying there’s nothing to fear out there,” he said. “In fact, one of the things about nature is that it does sometimes involve risk. That’s one of the things that attracts it to us.” But nature can be a “terrific laboratory for kids to take risks in order to be prepared for big risks later in their lives,” he said. “We’re not doing them any favors by telling them they can’t climb trees and all that.” Louv also believes parents nowadays “over-structure” and “over-protect” their children, believing they will be “enriched” by days crammed with music lessons and sports, which are “under adult control.” He believes children would be better served by developing the “ability to control themselves,” citing studies to support that view. And, he argues, children exposed to nature exercise greater self-control. A bit of nature, for example, can help reduce the symptoms of attention deficit disorder, said Louv, whose latest book is called “The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder.” The ever-increasing reliance on “electronics” also distances children and adults from nature, he said. “I’m not against technology,” Louv said. “I like my iPhone.”
I'm all for kids getting outdoors as much as possible and that kids lives are over structured. I think there's plenty of time for outdoors, sports and music lessons.  I managed two out of three (wasn't much into sport, nor did my parents push for them).  What does the Louv suggest for outdoor activities?
As an antidote, he and others, including doctors, recommend “green” activities like hiking, fishing, stream reclamation and gardening.
Hiking and fishing are great.  How about hunting?  That's outdoors too, unless you hunt the elusive house mouse.  For some odd reason they missed that...

 Stream reclamation?   Kid's and unsupervised stream reclamation?  When I was a kid, my idea of stream restoration was to make a dam, skip stones, or catch all the fish, or maybe all three.

Gardening?  Never heard of a kid really interested in that, although I went through a phase of growing weird plants...

No comments:

Post a Comment