The Last Child In the Woods by Richard Louv
We are in the heart of a global pandemic. Everyone has been asked by their respectful leaders, to stay home until further notice. It’s been 6 weeks, the NBA season was cancelled, alon with the NFL, MLB, concerts, banks, restaurants and even banks are closed.
Leaving the house is allowed, but only for “essentials” such as grocery store visits and doctors appointments.
The book of the week this week begs to add “Nature” to this list of essential reasons to leave the home. The Last Child In The Woods by Richard Louv blew my mind. It made me believe there was some kind of conspiracy going on, why aren’t we speaking about nature like it’s a priority for our wellness? Curious about what I mean? Read on, friend, Here are 5 reasons why children (and adults) need Nature.
Within the space of a few decades, the way children understand and experience nature has changed radically.The Last Child in the Woods – Richard Louv
1 – A different kind of childhood
What was your childhood like? How much time did you spend outdoors having fun? Did you play a lot of video games? “Own an ipad? Me neither. Today kids as young as 4 years old are gifted tablets and absolutely glued to them. Statistics show they would much rather stay inside with their electronics than go outside to play. The trouble is, parents don’t mind this because it’s “easier” to keep an eye on the kids when they’re safe inside of the house, However,
The Last Child in the woods suggests that the amount of time kids spend inside will be a detriment to their long-term wellbeing.
The first reason that kids need nature, is to be able to relate to their elders in a deep way. An appreciation of nature is a great way to connect with family, screen-free, and one that can be appreciated for a lifetime. And inability to appreciate the outdoors may create a great divide between a child and their parents/grandparents.
As young people spend less and less of their lives in natural surroundings, their senses narrows, physiologically and psychologically, and this reduces the richness of the human experience.The Last Child in the Woods – Richard Louv
2. We adapt to our environment
The way our bodies adjust and develop to being outdoors speaks for itself! Studies show that the vastness of nature helps children develop the ability to see great distances. A hyperfocus on a screen has the opposite effect, and encourages nearsighted limitations in childrens eyes. Our ability to see the world around us in its fullness decreases with our separation from nature.
Several of these studies suggest that thoughtful exposure of youngsters to nature cna even be a powerful form of therapy for attention-deficit disorders and other maladiesThe Last Child in the Woods – Richard Louv
3. ADD and ADHD cure
The way in which nature engages all of the senses is powerful. The effect that it has on young children is unbelievable. Studies suggest that nature may be useful as a therapy for ADHD and can support the attentional functioning and minimize their symptoms. This disorder is usually developed between the ages of 8-10 years old, and children with this disorder struggle in school because it affects their ability to focus on tasks, take direction, listen and pay attention.
Even without corroborating evidence or institutional help, many parents notice significant changes in their children’s stress levels and hyperactivity when they spend time outside.The Last Child in the Woods – Richard Louv
4. Immediate benefits
As soon as my children start acting out, getting loud, moody and emotional, bringing them outdoors changes everything. The way that nature engages and soothes children brings a whole new meaning to the term “mother nature”. Neurologically, human beings haven’t caught up to our digital way of life, getting kids out in nature is critical to help them thrive.
Reducing that deficit — healing the broken bond between our young and nature — is in our self-interest, not only because aesthetics or justice demands it, but also because our mental, physical, and spiritual health depends upon it.The Last Child in the Woods – Richard Louv
5. We can be better
The beauty of The Last Child in the woods is the fact that despite all of the problems that occur from being separated from nature, they can be reversed with a reintroduction with Nature! The effects will be immediate, and though they will probably complain a little bit at first, eventually, your children will thank you!
Living through a pandemic makes the idea of going outside seem a bit taboo, however, The Last Child In The Woods states that we should reframe our perception.
we can now assume that just as children need good nutrition and adequate sleep they may very well need contact with nature.The Last Child in the Woods – Richard Louv