Denying Nature: Today’s Children Prefer Buildings and Video Games Over Woods, Fields
There was a time when children loved to go outdoors, climb trees, catch a grasshopper and jump into a stream. But times have changed and children of today are no more interested in these refreshing activities.
Patricia Zaradic, an ecologist, of the Environmental Leadership Program and conservation biologist Oliver Pergams of the University of Illinois at Chicago have brought to attention that these days there is a huge decline in the number of visits to national parks and forests when compared to the 1980s and before. Apart from the obsession over technology, another major factor why children don't go out much is because they have a fear of heights, wildlife and nature related things.
Survey says that children today spend half the time as their parents did in playing outside. Though parents do consider it very important for children to engage with nature, children don't seem to be doing the same. The survey states that parents had spent nearly 8 hours a week playing outside when they were children, while now their children spend only around 4 hours every week.
The national trust that conducted the survey also introduced 50 things that children can do before they turn eleven. These activities will include outdoor playing and interacting with nature like climbing a tree, building a den, hunting for bugs, stargazing etc. Grey worm from the show Game of Thrones has joined hands with the trust on this campaign that encourages children spending more time in the open.
When it comes to children and nature, the role of parents is vital. A wildlife blogger Findlay Wilde
stated that,"Once children hit high school they become more independent and might think being interested in the natural world is uncool," "If they can, parents need to keep their connection with their children and continue to take them outdoors."