Thursday, January 11, 2007

Nature Deficit Disorder

I'm currently reading 2 books that are basically about the same topic. One is called Noah's Children by Sara Stein, the other is Last Child In The Woods by Richard Louv. Both books argue that kids today are out of touch with nature and that it is negatively affecting their lives. They both say that kids need time to just be in nature, alone with their thoughts, unsupervised to do what kids in nature do. I've been thinking about this a lot, thinking about my childhood compared to Logan's. When I was a kid, my brother and I would go to the creek by our house and explore for hours. We did this with no parental supervision. I would sit by a local lake and just think and dream. We'd build forts in the woods. We had a lot of time to ourselves to get to know nature and get to know ourselves. Compare that to Logan's childhood. We don't live near any woods or creeks or lakes he can explore. He pretty much is always with me, he doesn't go outside exploring without me. He really doesn't go outside exploring at all. Outside to him is a playground. He has never had unsupervised free time to get to know nature. This really bothers me! I do think it is valuable for children to get to know and explore nature, to have quiet alone time. Logan spends most of his time in the house with the TV or video games going. I don't think he gets any quiet alone time.

I'm not sure what if anything to do about this. He likes being outside and with nature when we do it but to do it here we need to drive to a sanctuary or state park. And to me that sort of defeats the purpose of having relaxed alone time to be with nature. It is better than no nature at all but not what the books are talking about and not really what I imagine when I imagine time in nature. I hope when we get our place that it will have a creek or pond and some woods that Logan can go explore. I'd like him to have that free time in nature that I had as a kid.

When we last went to visit my dad we went down to his creek. He has 5 acres with a creek in the very back. Logan found tracks and scat by the creek. We watched the fish swim and looked at the ferns and mold. Logan threw rocks in the creek and jumped over it. It was a nice time exploring. It wasn't alone time for him with nature, but at least he was in nature.

I'd love to hear other's thoughts on this.


Danielle said...

Ooooh, that is the one thing I so wish we had—a water source on the property. We miss our stream!

Your pictures are glorious! Keep dreaming, keep blogging and keep moving in the direction you're heading.

Christy said...

I really want a place with a water source! I know that is harder to find but it is one of my priorities.

SagePixie said...

The first time I went Hiking was here in L.A. and as we were walking on the trail I remember thinking "Gawd, the gardners here aren't very good there are leaves and twigs all over this trail and parts that need to be cut back. Somebody should be more on top of this."

I realized later the absolute obsurdity of that thought. I think your the first person I've told. I was 28 yrs old.

Christy said...


Thanks for sharing that story. It made me laugh. However, it does represent my real fears about Logan not growing up in touch with nature.

Pearly said...

You write very well.