I remember reading an article a while ago that pointed out that the big difference between traditional play, that many of us knew as children, and engaging with digital media (computer games, xBox, etc) as a form of play for children, is that the device is in control. Children lose their need and sense of creativity to keep the fun going. The device decides when the game is over, not the child.

Creativity is like any other naturally acquired skill or ability. You use it or lose it.

So now we have generations of young people coming out of school trying to enter the workforce with seriously impaired creative abilities.

In a well-known study of 1500 global corporations the CEO’s were asked what it is that concerns them the most about being in business. The predominant concern was a lack of creative thinkers within the oncoming generation of employees.

No, it’s not every child, we’re talking generally. But it’s something that parents need to be sharply woken up to.

If you rely on digital media and devices to entertain your children, when they’re young, rather than making it your duty, obligation and responsibility to give them real life enjoyable childhood experiences, from which they can learn and grow, and also cherish later in life, they will pay the price.

Which leads me to the point about this thing called “Nature Deficit Disorder”.

Richard Louv, author of the book called “Last Child in the Woods”, has coined this name to draw attention to the fact there is growing evidence that children are suffering badly from being deprived of regular contact with nature.

Thankfully, Louv offers practical solutions and simple ways that children can reconnect with nature and many of them are right in our own backyards and neighbourhoods.

You can read about the book here.

Go on, make the effort to get your kids outside more often. It’s worth it.

Athol Quinsey

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