Almost half of preschool children aren't taken outside to play by their parents on a daily basis, a new study finds.Many Parents Not Taking Kids Outside to Play (Live Science)
In fact, 49 percent of children don't go outside with mom or dad for a walk or playtime each day, according to the research. The study was based on a nationally representative sample of 8,950 preschool children.
UK children are losing contact with nature at a "dramatic" rate, and their health and education are suffering, a National Trust report says. Traffic, the lure of video screens and parental anxieties are conspiring to keep children indoors, it says. Evidence suggests the problem is worse in the UK than other parts of Europe, and may help explain poor UK rankings in childhood satisfaction surveys.Nature deficit disorder 'damaging Britain's children' (BBC)
The trust is launching a consultation on tackling "nature deficit disorder".
"When you build a den with your mates when you're nine years old, you learn teamwork - you disagree with each other, you have arguments, you resolve them, you work together again - it's like a team-building course, only you did it when you were nine."
The phrase nature deficit disorder was coined in 2005 by author Richard Louv, who argued that the human cost of "alienation from nature" was measured in "diminished use of the senses, attention difficulties and higher rates of physical and emotional illnesses".
In the UK as in many other countries, rates of obesity, self-harm and mental health disorders diagnosed in children have climbed significantly since the 1970s.
Wilderness therapy involves taking kids out into nature. Which, some studies suggest, is not only beneficial for children with difficulties like ADHD, but might actually be necessary for most of us to remain productive and functional human beings.Wilderness therapist: Good job or BEST job? (Grist)
I started working with adolescent boys and girls, treating mood disorders, oppositional disorders, drug addiction. The movement that I saw them experience in a period of six or seven weeks was more profound than I saw in any of the out-patient treatment centers that I’d worked at or even any of the residential treatment centers that I had worked at.
Reed says the secret isn’t just all that fresh air and sunshine.
A lot of what I attribute the success to is what we call primitive living. We provide them supplies. We provide them food and all the gear that they need, but they have to do everything themselves every day. They have to build their own shelter. They have to cook their own food. They make fire every day to cook on and stay warm by. They do it in small groups of eight to 10 students. Every lesson you want to impart to them is implicit in daily living.
Which makes me wonder: If wilderness therapy is so good for a troubled psyche, isn’t that kind of a profound indictment of our modern, always-on way of life?
Yes. Yes it is.