FINDING A BALANCE
Technology is sucking the very life out of our children not to mention our own. Even though I spend a great deal of time outdoors in nature, I too am guilty of spending hours in front of a computer screen. All be it mostly work related, I can get distracted and a facebook post can end up being an hour long visit. I am not saying these interactions are not important or meaningful, they are!!! I have met some amazing, beautiful beings online and I would not be attending the Nature Phenomena Conference in New Zealand in November, had I not connected via online networks. The problem lies when the time spent on a computer distracts us from the more important things in life…
…Like spending time outdoors with our children.
Sadly today, “the average Western child spends more than 90 per cent of their time indoors, and more than six hours a day in front of screens. We have become increasingly urban and disconnected from the natural world”, says David Suzuki. “Symptoms of our nature deficit are easy to spot; stress, obesity, heart disease, asthma, depression. The good news is that we already have an easy prescription for healthier lives and communities. We simply need to increase our dosage of nature”
We need to find a balance in our lives
Children need to return to the wilds of nature . When we are outdoors we connect to our ancestral roots, and revert back to who we are…wild and free.
You can’t smell the dampness in the air or hear the ROAR of the raging waterfall pound against the cascading rock-face in a computer game.
Take a walk on the wild side: Hunting for a Waterfall
Unplugging teenagers is difficult but not impossible
My sister-in-law has 4 teens and explains the lengths she has to go to to get her 4 children unplugged.
Here are just a few things you could easily try with your teen/teenagers and cost you nothing other than your TIME.
- Take a hike….make it an adventure- go on a waterfall hunt
- Ask your teen to bring along a friend
- Camp out in the backyard.If you don’t have a backyard, use a friends or grand-parents. Some local city parks are now introducing camping at certain times of the year…yeah).
- Go camping as a family (a small fee)
- Try out Geo-cashing (a small fee)
- Join a nature club or start one yourself
- Participate in a beach clean up
- Take up Mountain Biking or hire bikes for the day (small fee)
- Go for a forest picnic, get the teens to go shopping for the picnic. Let them choose and eat whatever they want.
- Get creative with Nature Art: Teenage girls love getting creative with nature art (boys do too but you have to choose carefully, wood crafts are great, making real bows and arrows for example; using their own tools, building and constructing large or small pieces of rock or wood art).
Teenagers are Happier and Healthier when they spend time in Nature
A computer can’t hug you or tell you I love you…
All children should be given the opportunity to fall in love with this magical, enchanting, awe-inspring natural world. The younger the better so that when the technological world descends upon them, and it will….they will value the benefits of nature they have experienced and return to it, providing them with some kind of balance in their busy teenager lives.
Life is for living… we all need nature in our lives to be happy, healthy, well-balanced human beings.