Never before have children been bombarded with images and innuendos of materialism. In our day and age, children have no concept of a world without soda, junk food, iPads, portable gadgets, and other modern conveniences. More and more children are preoccupied with the latest Facebook apps or video games that they don’t really pay much attention to the environment they live in.
Nature deficit disorder Many children in the 21st century have a “nature deficit disorder,” a social trend meaning that children have a lack of interest in the world around them. Sally Deenen of The Daily Green reports the following startling realities:
“Pediatricians nowadays see fewer kids with broken bones from climbing trees and more children with longer-lasting repetitive-stress injuries, which are related to playing video games and typing at keyboards. Indoors is in. Outdoors is out – as in, out of favor with kids.” - The Daily Green: Nature Deficit Disorder
According to author Richard Louv, who coined the term and wrote the book The Last Child in the Woods, the current nature deficit phenomenon has resulted in more and more children suffering from depression and obesity. He also stresses the importance of getting children to return to the values of outdoor play and appreciation:
”Research shows interaction with the natural environment plays an important role in children's development, including building problem-solving and critical thinking skills, as well as fostering creativity. As one example, Louv points to research on attention-deficit disorder at the University of Illinois, in which exposure to nature was shown to decrease ADD symptoms.”