"I believe the biggest risk our children face today is never being exposed to risk."
According to the latest survey, the distance our kids stay away from home on their own has shrunk by 90% since the 80s; 43% of adults think a child shouldn't play outdoors unsupervised until the age of 14.
Does this really matter? In an age of cable TV, Facebook, YouTube, Online gaming and other social networking sites, is it actually important to develop a habit of risk playing or inhabiting love for nature in our kids.
My son is 12 years old and my daughter is almost 3, and they currently have a fascination with dirt- The dirtier The better. My daughter can literally spend hours playing in the dirt, moving it around, Making dirt cakes and mud pies and covering herself in earthy brown goodness.
At our home, there have been a few observers who objected :
"Yucky!! Don't play in the dirt "
"Better you jump from your bed, than jumping from trees!"
I simply smile and say," That's what childhood is for- getting dirty, adventure playing. It's good for her- Body and Soul.
Did you know-
1.) Studies have shown dirt is good for your brain. There are types of bacteria naturally found in soil that activate the neurons which produce serotonin, a key chemical in many bodily functions as well as a natural anti-depressant. In other words, dirt can actually help make you feel happy. (PS: Not the mud wraps at the Day Spa?)
2.) Dirt is also great for the immune system, especially in children. Research has shown that early exposure to naturally occurring microbes in the soil will help build stronger and more disease-resistant kiddos.
"There's no Wifi in the playgrounds but still our kids will find a better connection."
In our technologically savvy generation, kids just aren't getting enough time to play and that has now been linked to attention disorders, depression (Yes ...in children) and no doubt obesity.
Children playing outside getting dirtier and sometimes hurting themselves, grow in their character development. They laugh more, means that they are happy! It also means they can heal themselves becoming more self - motivated and they are better able to understand and assess risk.
So next time when your kids urge you to go out and play in the garden, don't be a bodyguard to them, explore the nature with your children. Take hikes, Wade in creeks, Go on picnics.No need to take antibacterial wipes for cleaning their hands, a little water and soap will do.
Embrace your children, let them play and love nature. See what happens. They'll probably feel like heaven.
"Children must be kept as safe as needed, not as safe as possible. We can't eliminate risk and challenge essentials for learning."
Happy Parenting to all.
PARENT NAME: Arsh Sharma
STUDENT NAME: Soumya Sharma Grade 7D CBSE