Avoiding Nature Deficit Disorder

Photo by Danielle Palli 

By: Dr. Roger Landry 

I remember the first time I took my grandchildren out stargazing on our roof. My oldest grandson, Jackson, was all wide-eyed. “This is so cool! It’s just like the planetarium!” For him, the planetarium was his first exposure to a night sky not diminished by light pollution. From then on, I made it my mission to expose my grandkids to as much nature as I could.

Nature has been our caregiver for eons. We are better when we are immersed in it, and yet most of us have to “go to” nature, schedule it, or just forget it’s out there. One of the subtle, yet destructive, effects of all this? Our health and very humanity.

Richard Louv, author and child advocacy expert, calls the lack of nature in the lives of today’s wired-in children a nature-deficit. In his book, Last Child in the Woods, he links some disturbing childhood trends, including obesity, attention disorders and depression, to this lack of a nature experience. And, in his ground- breaking book, The Nature Principal, he provides powerful evidence for the restorative powers of the natural world.

Time in the natural world promotes a reduction in anxiety, increased well-being, and better physical, cognitive, and emotional health – and not just for our children and grandchildren – for all of us. Into the woods! You’ll be better for it.

CLICK HERE to watch a short video from Dr. Roger Landry on the benefits of nature.