Have you read a book called Last Child in the Woods (Richard Louv)? If not, read it!
The book talks about a massively growing problem in our society: Nature-deficit disorder. Australians (especially children) are spending less time outdoors resulting in a wide range of behavioral problems. These disturbing childhood trends, have been linked to issues such as rises in obesity, attention disorders, and depression. Did you know that our children are expected to have a shorter lifespan than us? Scary stuff.
Interestingly the research is pointing to the number one cause of children not spending time in the outdoors is parents FEAR of the outdoors (note: the cause isn’t (!!) the wiggles, Grand theft auto or childrens disinterest….)!
It’s you and me. I fully understand that we need to protect our children but we’re going too far. This is impacting on the healthy development of our kids.
Did you know that the average child spends 44 hours a week with electronic media?
As parents we’re all busy. It’s much easier to plonk our kids in front of an ipad or TV so we get on with house chores at the end of a big day. But with a little extra effort, we can ensure ourkids have more outside time and less box time!
Here are some top tips to incorporate into your busy daily routine to ensure your kids are getting outside more:
1. Wake up 15mins earlier and before the day ramps up, take your kids for a short walk outside. Jack and I do this every morning. As soon as he wakes, I change his nappy, wack on his dinosaur onesy then we head outside to feed the chickens, point to the roo’s and laugh with the kookaburras. This 10min routine is not only great bonding but is meditative for us both!
2. When you’re out at the shops, markets or doing a pickup, rather than wacking them in the pram, allow a bit of extra time and let them walk. Its amazing how much fun they can have exploring!
3. On a Saturday morning when you’re doing the garden, INCLUDE your kids! It’s a great time to spend outside. They just love raking leaves, turning compost, hammering in a nail (Jack is only 17mths old and just loves doing this).
Get out and get active!