I live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world and am bringing my kids up in a cosmopolitan, cultural and mentally stimulating environment. But physically — not so much. In contrast to my daughters, I grew up in a small village, walked to school on my own from the age of six and our kitchen door was never locked. We happily let ourselves in and out and would go play in the fields and woods. My parents did not care as long as we were back for dinner at 6pm sharp.
I do worry that my children are not being given the freedom we had and are missing out on an incredibly important lesson in life, namely being able to be responsible and independent in a safe environment. There is even a term for this now “Nature Deficit Disorder”, coined by American author Richard Louv. I just read this article in the UK Guardian and thought you might be interested. I am now obsessed with turning my little town dwellers into outside adventurers…
The photo, by the way, is of my daughter and Courtney’s son playing together this weekend in London and roaming around trees and fields — they had the best time.