Thursday, January 22, 2009

book review: The Last Child in the Woods

"Healing the broken bond between our young and nature is in our self-interest, not only because aesthetics or justice demand it, but also because our mental, physical, and spiritual health depend upon it."—from "Last Child in the Woods," by Richard Louv.

I finished reading Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder. It really is eye opening when you think about it... when WE were kids, we played outside until our parents BEGGED us to come in!! I remember playing outdoors with mud pies, climbing trees with my brothers, going fishing with cane poles, finding leaves and acorns, using a magnifying glass to discover, and creating my own outdoor adventures. There was no sidewalk chalk in my childhood! I've fell into the trap as a parent. We're reversing our ways, we're taking more time as a family outdoors.
We're down to egg timers on TV and Xbox time... and it's very minimal. I remember watching cartoons on Saturdays and Sundays, and as a preschooler I would watch Mr. Rogers or Captain Kangaroo in the mornings on weekdays after breakfast...after that brief TV time, I remember a day filled with endless possibilities of imagination in the yard, or doing things with my mom, or playing in my room on rainy days. We V-Chip the TV upstairs to only allow 'decent' cartoons and educational children's TV or we will watch Discovery or Science together as a family after dinner on rainy days. Our kids do NOT have TV's in their rooms... I hope we're on the right track. Living in the city, without a huge yard and woods, we're being as creative in our endeavors as possible. Most children I've personally talked to (neighbors, friends at school, and kids at the church) DO watch more TV then play outdoors and/or with their parents.... so we're really encouraging our kids to be a little 'different' these days!