Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Nature Deficit Disorder?

Richard Louv coined the terms "nature deficit disorder" to describe the growing alienation between children and nature. Louv is a journalist and author of 7 books about the connection between family, nature, and community. In an interview Louv said (10/10) that there is a growing body of research that shows how important direct contact with nature is to healthy child development -- including childhood obesity, stress, creativity, and cognitive functioning. Louv's most recent book is called "Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from nature deficit disorder."

Needless to say, children and teens who are logging heavy time on computers and video game consoles (and TV, smartphones, etc.) are at increased risk to never connect with the natural world and all of the amazing challenges and discoveries contained in nature.

Throwing the computer and video games out the window isn't Louv's message. Rather, he wants to promote awareness of creating balance in the lives of children and teens. For those children and teens who simply will not move out of the house, balance may only be achieved by a complete hiatus from any and every device plugged in to a wall or run on batteries (detox, if you will).

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