I never understood why Professionals (Doctors and Teachers) are so quick to diagnose children with attention disorders the second they “act out” or decide not to pay attention for a split second. I can’t believe I am about to say this…. but, “when people my age were younger” and acted out, all we needed to do was be engaged in an activity.
We didn’t have time to be bored or restless. I remember riding bikes with Dorit, Val, and Co. after school till it got dark out and if I wasn’t riding bikes or running around, I was in karate lessons, dance lessons, acting classes. I didn’t get my first cell phone till the age of 17 when I started driving and now you see children who aren’t even able to walk yet playing with an iPad!
Nature is the best medicine.
I find myself getting so restless, some days more than others. It’s been raining since Sunday and will continue raining through tomorrow… these rainy days are bad but what gets me more is when the sun is shining and I am suffocating inside.
While looking up the forecast for this weekend, I came across this article titled, “Are You Nature-Deprived?” It begins by telling a story about a family bringing their child to the Doctor to discuss her temper tantrums. Dr.Zarr learned that the majority of their weekends were spent inside. Instead of diagnosing her with behavioral issues, he advised the family to spend time outdoors. At the follow-up visit, the family noted the tantrums had stopped.
Negative effects of nature deprivation:
- Auto-immune disorders
Interesting note taken from Richard Louv’s, “Last Child in the Woods” :
Today, average eight-year-olds are better able to identify cartoon characters than native species, such as beetles and oak trees, in their own community. The rate at which doctors prescribe antidepressants to children has doubled in the last five years, and recent studies show that too much computer use spells trouble for the developing mind.
The same goes for adults… People spend so much time behind a computer and phone that they forget how to socialize. We make plans via texting rather than calling, we tell stories via email or texting rather than face-to-face. It seems to be a burden to be around people.
Instead of trying to make connections with people online, why don’t you join a club or group activity? Come on my flower children, go outside, enjoy the world around you.
Positive effects of spending time outdoors:
- Boosts mental health
- Reduces stress
- Boosts your immune system
- Helps with focus and creativity
- Burn calories (walk, run, play!)
So, my question to you is, when was the last time you were outside? Did you feel better? Parents- do you find that time spent outdoors with your children result in better behavior?
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