Mothering Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,674 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<a href="http://www.waldorflibrary.org/Journal_Articles/RB20062.pdf" target="_blank">http://www.waldorflibrary.org/Journa...es/RB20062.pdf</a><br><i>Nature Deficit Disorder</i> by David Mitchell published in the Spring 2006 issue of the Waldorf Research Bulletin.<br><br>
Article starts on page 28 of the pdf and runs through page 30. If you want to print it out, set your printer to landscape and put in just the page numbers you want to read.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">In the early 1900s, more than 90% of the population<br>
of North America lived in rural areas where<br>
farming was dominant, while only 10% lived in<br>
urban centers. As recently as the 1950s, most U.S.<br>
youngsters still had a connection to agriculture in<br>
some form. Even in towns or cities, kids played<br>
ball in dusty sandlots or spent hours building<br>
forts against fences, in garden shrubbery, or in<br>
parks. Their unregimented play allowed them to<br>
be at one with nature. That kind of exposure to<br>
the outdoors has reportedly faded dramatically in<br>
recent decades, but our need for nature—as both<br>
psychological and physiological aid—has not.<br>
“Neurologically, human beings haven’t caught up<br>
with today’s over-stimulating environment,” says<br>
Michael Gurian, family therapist and author of<br>
The Wonder of Boys.</td>
</tr></table></div>
Thanks for joining us!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/innocent.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shy">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,585 Posts
I just read the article...which seems to basically sum up the book "Last Child In the Woods" by Richard Louv...which appropriately enough I bought last week while we were in the States. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> Now I'm looking even more forward to reading it!<br><br>
This is a topic I think about all the time...and have since my son was born. Partly because I now live in Switzerland and have been making constant comparisons between here and the US and partly because of the population density here, which means that I have to raise my son entirely differently than I was raised. There is plenty of "nature", but it is generally publicly maintained and shared...and somehow regulated...at least near the towns and cities. This is touched on in the book but not in the article.<br><br>
My ds is really not on the path to being nature-deficit...in fact, he is by nature such a perfect match for Waldorf Ed that he is the one who led me to it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> We are homeschooling for his first year of Kindergarten but if we remain in Switzerland than he will likely attend a Steiner School.<br><br>
Thanks for starting these discussions!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,674 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The problem of regulated nature is an interesting one. It is sort of like an adjustable pay schedule. Even a little bit of nature will be better than none, and sometimes when we think we are seeing totally wild nature, it is not, actually, so.<br><br>
When I was a child I spent a couple of years living in Spring Valley, NY, in a big old house out in the country. However, right next door was a huge, high-speed throughway. Behind our house were several acres of woods and we spent a lot of time wandering and playing in the woods. However, I realized, eventually, that the woods were, a while back farmland or pasture. There were crumbling stone walls every once in a while.<br><br>
I was born in 1950 and whenever my parents could afford it we lived in a place with open space next door or nearby, so I think I got as much outdoor exposure as a child living on a farm. We moved a lot, so the landscape kept changing.<br><br>
My daughter spent her first few years in the San Fernando Valley, where she mostly got nature in our backyard or a park or at the waldorf school she attended. We did camp out quite a bit starting when she was 9 or so. When she was 13 we moved out to the country (Missouri). Later she went to HS in Toronto, but lived with a family who had a cabin in the woods.<br><br>
My grandchildren have it great. They live in a small city, but there is an open field one house down, a strip of woods behind their house, they have a 1/4 acre yard with trees and grass and even a little hill, there is a garden every summer and their parents also take them out on skis and snow-shoes and hiking. Plus, the waldorf school my granddaughter attends is on 55 acres of apple orchard next to a river.<br><br>
But I have definitely seem a lot of children who look as though they are in trouble. Too many gadgets and not enough greenery!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
Another expat mom- cool! My husband and I have noticed similar things here in Germany. With shorter school days and very few people working on the weekends, there are kids and families outdoors all the time. There seems to be more "nature" to enjoy also because the majority of private land is public accessible and the urban sprawl is tightly controlled.<br><br>
As far as the article, I would agree that exposure to "green" outdoor environments is tremendously beneficial. But is it being suggested that a lack of exposure is causing ADD/ADHD? Or that increased exposure can treat it? I don't see sufficient evidence here to draw that conclusion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,674 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, the part about causation didn't seem solid. I think food additives and TV and crazy schedules and not enough sleep and constant exposure to artificial noise (muzak and radio and machinery) and probably a few more things are all contributing factors. It is actually amazing that there are any healthy, normal children left.<br><br>
It does seem as though exposure to nature has a positive effect, but I guess we'd have to read the actual papers to see how they came up with the results.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
493 Posts
Off to read the article...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
493 Posts
It seems to me that the authors are suggesting that spending time in nature can help children with ADD/ADHD, and that a lack of time outdoors can exacerbate related problems, not actually cause them.<br><br>
I know that when I am having a particularly stressful day, spending some time in the woods calms and centers me like nothing else. Being in nature is the easiest way that I know how to connect with God.<br><br>
It is really sad that children are spending so much time with tv, computer, video games, etc and so little time outside. Even their recesses at school are being taken away! It just seems that most of the country has got it all wrong--increase instructional time and decrease outdoor time to improve academic performance--no!!! Increase time with "educational toys" and decrease time in "unproductive" play--no no no!!!<br><br>
I don't really know what to say, except that I just don't understand why, when all the research points to the importance of open-ended play (and what more open-ended environment is there than the outdoors) we as a nation continue to push our children into more planned activities and give them toys that are so closed. I guess the answer comes down to money...no one makes money from kids playing with leaves, nuts, twigs, and their own imaginations<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,674 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I guess the answer comes down to money...no one makes money from kids playing with leaves, nuts, twigs, and their own imaginations</td>
</tr></table></div>
I'm afraid you are right. Children are now seen as a "market" rather than as developing human beings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,585 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Zoeanne</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7897061"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It seems to me that the authors are suggesting that spending time in nature can help children with ADD/ADHD, and that a lack of time outdoors can exacerbate related problems, not actually cause them.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
Exactly. The book focuses almost exclusively on all the positive things nature is for children, rather than on all the bad things that can happen without it, if that makes sense.<br><br>
I love the way Waldorf brings nature right to the child on so many different levels: nature stories, natural materials, crafts. The kids spend so much time outdoors gardening. It's really beautiful.<br><br>
Here in Switzerland there are "Waldkindergarten" all over the place. It's basically like an outdoor daycare or playgroup. The kids spend the whole time out in the forest (Wald)...they gather things, they sing, they prepare their lunch on the open fire, they build. And all this whether it's rain or shine...or deepest winter. It's wonderful.<br><br>
My ds can be tricky. He doesn't really like to get his hands dirty...literally or figuratively. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> He lives completely in his mind and his imagination and more or less refuses to do anything overtly physical. We haven't even managed to get him to *try* a bike/trike! He won't so much as sit on it, and just looks at us like we're crazy for even asking him to do such a lame thing. We take long walks in the forest near our home and he likes to point things out as we go. Again, it's a very intellectual approach to nature that he prefers. We're working with him to develop his *physical* self a bit more and we try to do this in a natural setting as much as possible. I have visions of him climbing trees and wading in streams, but we are a long way off at the moment.<br><br>
But summer is on it's way, and I've got lots of ideas! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top