A Sentiment

God knew what He was doing when He sent a gentle breeze and brought a lovely butterfly to set my heart at ease. The happiness of your friendship and the gentleness of your words have touched my life in special ways and now I feel assured. Thank you for your loyalty and for reading everyday. I only hope you find things to make a happy day.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Nature Deficit Disorder

Grandson Collin a few years ago...looking at a caterpillar with a playmate. He still loves nature....I wonder what he'll grow up to be? Here is a book written by Dr. Clifford E. Knapp. I tell about his article that I read last night.

I was reading our little weekly newspaper, when an article caught my eye. It was titled..Nature Notes: Nature-Deficit Disorder. It was written by Dr. Clifford E. Knapp, who is retired from NIU's Lorado Taft Field Campus. He tells about children today not getting outdoors enough and they are getting separated from nature. Kids and their parents are attached to electronic umbilical cords (his description) TV, computers, video games, and DVD and CD players. I see Moms walking by with their babies in strollers...a phone in their ear. Moms used to talk and point out things in nature along the way. People in restaurants, grocery stores, in cars all talking on the phone and not seeing the world around them. I know that not everyone is like this, but there are so many who are. Between 1997 and 2003, he states, a 50% decline in kids use for the outdoors. More obesity and Type 2 diabetes, ADHD. Kids don't walk to school or ride their bikes as much. Schools have cut down their recess periods. He goes on about kids knowing more Pokemon characters than common plant and animal names. He tells about the changes in society...fear of letting kids having freedoms, that we used to have, because of stranger danger. There are fewer farms today, building developments are taking over precious natural places. Some communities have no where for kids to go and learn about nature.

I remember when I was growing up...my Mom would say, "Go on outside and play." I did the same with my kids. It was great staying outside most of the day, in the summer. Building forts, exploring fields, finding critters, collecting bugs in jars, playing games...who remembers playing Holly at night by the street lights? Kids need to explore and have someone teach them about birds, rocks, wildflowers. The park district in a neighboring town will have classes and free discovery walks for kids this spring and fall. Our nature center up the road does the same. I hope that other towns will do the same. I do feel sorry for the kids in the big cities who don't have experiences in nature. It's our world...we should see to it that every child is given the same chance.

Our illustrious Governor closed our State Parks in Ogle county. Now that he's gone they are to be reopened. This is a big plus for our area. Lowden State Park is a wonderful place for kids and adults to explore. I hope that now that we've had the scare of losing it, more people will use it this year than ever before.



Anonymous said...

My childhood was spent outdoors riding bikes, playing baseball with the neighborhood kids etc...We didn't want to be inside on nice days and we watched very little TV. Times have changed I guess.

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

Balisha...You are so right. There are not enough parks as it is and to have them closed is not good. Families need to get outside together. People seem to be closing themselves in their homes with computers, televisons and electronic games. Not to mention the teens spending their time texting. We were at dinner the other night at Howards sons home and their daughter, and this happens all the time, spent most of her time texting her friends with the cell phone in her lap. She had no idea what was going on at the table, nor did she care. Sad. Great post. I enjoyed it.

Margie's Musings said...

We need to take their electronics away from them except at some "special times". Even my younger son is entirely addicted to his cell phone.

Balisha said...

Hi Ladies,
Times have changed so much, People work and the kids have to stay home. I think that this man was saying that they don't really even want to play outside in their own yards. Some of our neighbor kids are out, but not many.
The last time my Grandsons spent the night...their Dad didn't send along any of their electronic games or phones. They had fun doing all kinds of things.

Laura said...

I agree with you! My sons (ages 9 and 12) love to go camping. We do not allow video games (they are too young for cell phones in my opinion). Both boys are Scouts; lots of outdoor activities and there is also a ban on electronics when they go on any trips

2 Dogs said...

Yes I've been off pondering life. Sorry I have not been around to visit. The weather is beautiful here. I hope it stays warm.

Balisha said...

Hi Laura,
I put a comment on your blog...thanks for reading.
\Hi Patti,
Hope you continue feeling better. I envy your beautiful weather...it's 19 here today.