Are you ready for the next child development anomaly?
First there was A-D-D: Attention Deficit* Disorder.
(*Truth be told, the deficit of attention lies with the parents in many cases, not paying enough attention to their kids…)
So, get ready for the Next Big Thing: “Nature Deficit Disorder.”
I received a breathlessly-worded press release this morning, that trumpets the rise of "the first generation of Americans to grow up disconnected from nature." They’re advocating giving our children a "Green Hour" a day: "a bit of time for unstructured play and interaction with the natural world – with which we can set them on the path toward physical, mental, and emotional well-being."
I love this.
I had plenty of Green Time when I was a kid.
My mom basically exiled me from the house into the back yard, which was an imaginary jungle, battlefield, underground lair, and general purpose mud hole in which all of the neighborhood kids liked to waller.
We had trees to climb, a tree house my father built from which to command the world, and lots of hedges in which to hide and allow our imaginations to run wild.
Yes, we swang from vines and ropes.
The Kaiser Family Foundation ran a study revealing the average American kid “spends 44 hours per week (more than 6 hours a day!) staring at some kind of electronic screen.
Studies have linked excessive television viewing to obesity, violence, and even lower intelligence in kids. Now, a growing wave of research indicates that children who spend time outdoors are healthier, overall, than their indoor counterparts.”
The really funny part about this: to wean your kid from the flat panel screen, and launch them into the great ourdoors…the press release advises to go on line to http://www.greenhour.org/.