Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Glad for All Kinds of Play

hmmm...

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder

I came across this book at a homeschooler's blog. The writer at the blog loved it. It talks about the importance of the connection between nature and children. How important it is for kids to get outside. Turn off the TV, breathe the fresh air.

again...

hmmmmm...

Can't kids have both? Can't they have the outdoors and the indoors? Nature and the computer? I guess I've seen too many unhappy kids who haven't been allowed their own choice in the matter. They're told to go outside, even if they are happier inside, even if it's cold or rainy.



Aren't there going to be people who just want to do something different..who feel fulfilled or inspired by things inside? Is that bad? I don't think so. On that note I'm soo glad that the compuser, Nobuo Uematsu, was allowed to play the piano (I bet it was inside ;) He's the composer of the Final Fantasy music that I linked on an earlier post and you should hear the beautiful song that Abbi is playing from him. (Just listen!)

I love the outdoors. I love the trees, the grass, water, mountains (when I get to see them).. all of that. I love being outside and hearing the birds, especially the loons. Sitting outside with a fire and watching the stars is magnificent. But I also can see emptiness/sadness in some children's eyes as they are told to go outside. Even if the parents are with them, doing cool stuff... people aren't always going to feel that connection. Or maybe they feel some connections, but they feel a bigger pull to figuring out a problem via a computer. Or they want to watch a story unfold on a screen.

I just hope that people will stop long enough to listen to their children. Some people will sit and listen to the birds and the water running down the stream but not stop long enough to hear or see what their children really love.

6 comments:

Schuyler said...

Nature Deficit Disorder? Oh, what an absolutely absurd concept. Good grief. Oh, it makes me want to rant, really, really rant about how this desire to label children as deficit, wrong, somehow unwell, incomplete, is just so completely mean. It is just mean. And the only gain is to be able to argue for greater control. So you can force your kids to go for a hike saying that you are afraid that they are suffering from the dread NDD, or that they will come down with it. Ugh. Sigh. Another label to help keep parents and kids from connecting.

kelli said...

I know. Isn't it ridiculous?!

Ren said...

Too bad they can't just share the magic of their own connection with nature and trust that if it's good enough, the kids will naturally be interested in joining them.

My kids seem to be happily connected with nature when we are hiking or growing things etc...but also happily connected with technology. No evils. Just different ways of connecting.

I do see a lack of connection with nature these days. But that lack has to do with the way a family and society lives, not because there is technology available.

Snavleys said...

So true. We are just realizing, I guess being our first experience with public school, how many children don't have choices about anything. I've been dreaming and waking up so sad for some of these kids. Told what to do, what to wear, how to act, what to love, what to think, what to be involved in, critized, etc. etc. So thankful for our lifestyle for sure!! Thankful to watch my children live and learn with passion and joy. Some days spending all day on the computer or TV and others spending all day outside. What the hell difference does it make anyway? What are people so afraid of?

piscesgrrl said...

I think Heidi brings up a good point about the kids in school. The big fear is that because these kids haven't had any freedom, they WILL binge on things once given the opportunity. What people forget (or never realize to begin with) is that they too will find their groove after a while. This book has been passed around my homeschooling group (of mostly unlike-minded folks, unforunately for me) and it came my way and I took it home and it collects dust. I haven't even cracked the cover. The premise just don't speak to me. Or really apply.

mindy said...

Kelli,
I love your contemplation of this. It's never hard to explain to people our lives when we are in a cycle of nature/outdoors/activity oriented life. It is way more complicated to talk about our lives when we are in a homey/tv/computer/movie cycle. And we do cycle...I love both cycles and especially love that my kids don't feel guilty about having a homey, soft clothes cycle in their lives. We all need it and get a lot out of it. Thanks Kelli...definitely a post for thoughtfulness.