Teach your child to climb trees

Lata Jain

Has your child climbed a tree? Has your child ever made a daisy chain? One in five children has never climbed a tree and half have never played daisy chain.

A generation of children is in danger of growing into dysfunctional adults because they do not play outside, says Dr.Kusma a leading pediatrician.

A shocking study found that 70 per cent of youngsters would rather watch television or play computer games than venture outdoors.

lata jain

Lata Jain

A third of children aged between six and 15 have never climbed a tree, a quarter have never rolled down a hill and almost half have never made a daisy chain, ride a bicycle and a third have no idea how to play hopscotch or build a den.

The decline of traditional outdoor games is in part due to the busy and sedentary lives of parents.

Seven out of ten mothers and fathers said they rarely played with their children because they were too busy with their mechanized life and the local park was at a distance.

One in seven parents said they did not feel fit enough to play with their children outside, while 8 per cent said they were too embarrassed.When children learn to climb a tree they are learning to overcome a physical challenge, they rehearse to climb, they slip to climb again  and it will stand them in good stead for overcoming other challenges in life, such as learning to read.’ says  Mohan, an athlete.

The research done by Rattles found that 72 per cent of today’s parents preferred playing outside when they were children. A total of 59 per cent of children would like to play outside more than they do. Most concern is centered on children, who – say nature lovers and parents – are missing out on opportunities afforded to previous generations, ones as simple as climbing trees or getting their knees bruised.

Studies say a lot of kids have more electronic media exposure time each day than their parents spend at work, but they rarely spend time outside just mucking around in natural wild life. Even a patch of weeds and dirt with a few worms qualifies as natural wild life. There is something fundamental we learn from connecting with other forms of life, which kids are missing out on if they don’t get that kind of free exploration. Time spent outdoors with out a coach or a game plan. Louv calls it “nature-deficit disorder; the human costs of alienation from nature. Among them: diminished use of the senses, attention difficulties and higher rates of physical and emotional illnesses.” Richard Louv is the author of Last child in the woods.

Unlike television, nature does not steal time; it amplifies it. Nature offers healing for a child living in a destructive family or neighborhood. It serves as a blank slate upon which a child draws and reinterprets the culture’s fantasies. Nature inspires creativity in a child by demanding visualization and the full use of the senses.

In the introduction to his book, he said that over the past few decades the way children understood and experienced nature had “changed radically”.”The polarity of the relationship has reversed,” he wrote.

“Today, kids are aware of the global threats to the environment – but their physical contact, their intimacy with nature, is fading. That’s exactly the opposite of how it was when I was a child.”Mr Louv acknowledged that nature-deficit disorder was “by no means a medical diagnosis”.

But, he added: “It does offer a way about the problem and possibilities – for children and for the rest of us as well.”Are doctors starting to prescribe a dose of “vitamin N” for nature?

Across the physical activity sector, we need to build on the diversity of opportunities to be active including… exercising in a natural environment. Dr.Manmoahan children’s specialist makes it a point to talk of nature to the parents of children.

I would not be at all surprised to see greater interest from the clinical world in the benefits of taking kids into green spaces.

“We are not quite there yet, but the evidence is building and I think it is time that the health sector took proper notice. “Teach your child to climb trees!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.