Let them climb trees

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.



Comments (3)

June 15, 2010

Thank you so much Emilie for pointing out this book & the article. I had not heard about this NDD but now it completely resonates. it’s a very good alert. i also grew up for a few years in a small village in Lorraine /France and very much relate to what you are saying..

June 15, 2010

Voilà qui me parle, à moi aussi! Je vis en pleine campagne (suisse!) et suis très heureuse d’y voir grandir ma fille de 4 ans. Ce que tu dis sur la débrouillardise dont on faisait preuve à l’époque, les portes jamais verrouillées… c’est exactement ça!!!! Merci pour le lien sur le NDD (effarant qu’on en soit là!), je vais lire tout ça attentivement!…

June 15, 2010

This article is really brilliant and certainly makes you think about how you want to raise your children!

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