Loving God's Creation
It wasn't that many years ago that Richard Louv wrote the book,
Last Child in the Woods
, and the term nature deficit disorder was born. Does your child suffer from it? Louv proposed that lack of interaction with nature led to attention problems, greater physical and emotional illnesses, poorer eyesight, greater obesity, Vitamin D deficiency, and sensory issues, among other things, in children. Children today need time outside to develop the physical aspects of their bodies. They need unstructured time without adult interference to develop executive function skills such as time management, independence, self-control, and risk taking. Did you know executive function skills are a greater predictor of success in children than IQ?
Yes, kids need to be outside in nature for themselves, but also for the greater good of everyone. If we don't teach children to appreciate and care for God's creation, who will? And who will care for our world in the future if children don't appreciate it?
We have already taken some steps in this direction in some of our recent Food, Faith, & Fellowship meetings. Having children outdoors on a treasure hunt or learning to fish (thanks fishing adults in our congregation!) help children begin to experience the joys of nature.
What are some things you can do to pass this reverence for God's creation to our younger generation?
Here are some suggestions:
- Plant a garden or even a pot with some tomatoes
- Go camping in a state or national park - or your back yard.
- Find a beautiful, quiet place outdoors to read a book on nature such as The Lorax by Dr. Seuss.
- Get out in nature and walk & talk about it. Go for a hike. Get a guide and know the trees, plants, etc in your yard.
- Catch lightning bugs or make a rock collection.
- Even infants can do tummy time in the back yard.
- Explore your local parks. Take a picnic for dinner.
- Make sure your children have time to play outside - not organized sports - PLAY!
- Limit electronics
- Teach them ways to care for our environment - such as recycling.
- Star gaze on a clear night.
Some ideas from:
"How to Teach Your Kids to Love Nature" by Vanessa Ball (Feb. 7, 2019) outdoorproject.com
"How to Prevent Nature Deficit Disorder" by Maggie Voelker (Mar. 20, 2019) greenchildmagazine.com