Nature Decit Disorder

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Richard Louv, many years ago, surveyed habits of children, and coined this phase, to highlight that children are spending lesser and lesser time outdoors, and that this could lead to possible behavioral issues. Though it is not yet a ‘disorder’ as per medical manuals, but it should be taken seriously as surveys have shown that children visiting parks is continuously coming down, and use of electronic media is increasing by leaps and bound.

The reasons include: Parents keeping kids within the house to protect them from danger, resulting in their inability to learn how to protect themselves, and also reducing their connect with nature. Added to that is the shortage of natural surroundings, particularly in cities. Even when children are taken to parks etc, they are told to keep to the pathways, and not to touch anything. On the other hand, starting from TV and internet, to video games and social media, children have greater attraction to stay indoors and ‘touch’ the screens and keypads, giving them a sense of control. It is estimated that children in USA spend about 44 hours a week with electronic media – one wonders what such surveys in India will show.

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