FINDING THE WILD CHILD WITHIN
An Examination of Nature Deficit Disorder
Welcome to our first installment in this social media series produced by Elder Greens Canada and the Wildcraft Forest Foundation.
Children are deeply impacted when there is a loss of natural surroundings in their neighborhood and city. Many parks and nature preserves have restricted access and "do not walk off the trail" signs.
Environmentalists and educators add to the restriction, telling children "look don't touch".
Richard Louv believes that the effects of nature-deficit disorder on our children will have "profound implications, not only for the health of future generations but for the health of the Earth itself."
Louv suggests that while we might be protecting the natural environment, there is a cost for that protection and that might be our children's relationship with nature, which profoundly shapes their ecocultural identities.
Richard Louv is an American non-fiction author and journalist. He is best known for his seventh book, “Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder” (first published in 2005 by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill), which investigates the relationship of children and the natural world in current and historical contexts. Louv created the term "nature-deficit disorder" to describe possible negative consequences to individual health and the social fabric as children move indoors and away from physical contact with the natural world – particularly unstructured, solitary experience.
Louv cites research pointing to attention disorders, obesity, a dampening of creativity and depression as problems associated with a nature-deficient childhood. He amassed information on the subject from practitioners of many disciplines to make his case, and is commonly credited with helping to inspire an international movement to reintroduce children to nature.
Nature-deficit disorder is the idea that human beings, especially children, are spending less time outdoors than they have in the past, and the belief that this change results in a wide range of behavioral problems. This disorder is not recognized in any of the medical manuals for mental disorders, such as the ICD-10 or the DSM-5. At present nature-deficit disorder is not meant to be a medical diagnosis and is not recognized as one but nevertheless research continues as a work in progress.
Louv claims that causes for nature-deficit disorder include parental fears and restricted access to natural areas in this YouTube video he answers five of the most common questions he is asked regarding nature deficit disorder. This video outlines great opportunities for addressing this problem.
This 17 minute YouTube video is worth the watch.
This social media series is produced by Elder Greens Canada and the Wildcraft Forest Foundation and is being posted at the Elder Greens Facebook Group and the Wildcraft Forest Sacred Community Facebook Group along with various Wildcraft Forest Facebook Pages.
Upon completion you can find the entire series at:
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The Mother Tree Hub assists individuals with their efforts to dwell closer to nature and to develop enterprise that both rewilds nature and delivers ongoing regenerative stewardship.
The incubator interacts with the Wildcraft Forest School and Extension Services and contains both a residency program and an online program. Both programs seek to develop leadership within individuals and encourages small footprint lifestyle options while creating forms of social enterprise that links nature with agriculture, medicine and services which support a living Sanctuary Forest.
f you believe that you might benefit from the Mother Tree Hub and you are willing to expand your relationship with nature please contact us and we will set up a live conference call with you.
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