Nature Deficit Disorder, or children of the evolution?

Posted: June 5, 2010 in Blogs

Okay, who, or what, could be to blame for this travesty?  We always find someone to blame, is it the parents?  The teachers? The education system? Modern technology? Sony, Samsung, Siemens et al?

Instead of placing multi-directional blame, perhaps we should find a solution to the misadventure that we see making a calamity out of our children’s health?

My computer devoted, eight year old brother and I head over to the playing field, I make a pass to him with my old, but functional brown leather football, it rolls stopping a good inch from his right foot.  For a second I believe that he isn’t going to reciprocate, I despair, but then, he smiles brightly, moves with haste and kicks the ball into the air above him and heads it before making a run (yes, run) away from me, teasing with his skills as he goes.  It’s May, weekend, a feast of sweet smells and delectable colours, the forsythia, the first yellow trumpet-fanfare flower of spring, has subsided into leggy green.  My brother is playing out.

It has been scientifically proven that children have evolved ‘gaming thumbs’, one might say that this is a combination of nature (the evolutionism) and nurture (our technological climate), so why not understand and then implement rules for our children as such.  For my entertainment, I have recycled three rather conclusive words: EVERYTHING IN MODERATION!

What I don’t understand is why is there no seething, indignant, irked, and across the board absolutely FUMING reaction from parents that yet again, and as always, a generalised label has been placed on their children.

For my part I am disgusted, any parent can see that giving time to their children in encouraging the outdoors will bless them down the line.  That time should be allocated.  However, labelling and restricting what has become modern age entertainment is rather like taking a gramophone and vinyl from a 60’s child.  Who are we to judge?  What an acrimonious indignity!

Times have changed, perhaps the label loving scientists should learn to adapt, change and move on, much like Mother Nature’s ‘gaming thumb’.

  1. k.hanson(grandma). says:

    very interesting piece of writing tanya. you surprise me sometimes. keep up the goodwork. love your grandma.

  2. Ducktowater says:

    Very interesting point of view, reads extremely well. However you cannot blame this entirely on the parents. Once again it is the nature vs nurture debate and sadly I feel that society has a lot to answer for. I do agree however that this is diagnosing and naming a disorder for non-sensical reasons. Do scientists not have anything better to do with their time? I mean I recently discovered that funding was granted to a scientist to investigate whether or not ducks like water….

  3. kittycrozier says:

    Reply to Ducktowater: HA! Well, I heard about that too! I agree, society does have a lot to answer for, though I think there are a lot of elements to this debate that we haven’t factored in, such as the bubble-wrapped child and the media.

    I don’t blame the parents entirely, though I think they do have some part to play in this rather sad set of circumstances. One example of ‘societal problems’ may be that children aren’t so much as able to play football in the street, due to cars, houses and the rather anal John Doe that storms out every time little Tommy so much as whispers.

    Thank you, regards.

  4. space cowboy millionaire says:

    Everything in moderation is a rule i lead my life by, however looking back to my youth im sure i spent far to much time sat indoors, on the other hand i guess when the weather was there i would make my own choice to go out and run around like i couldn’t today! Parents are partly to blame but on the flip side if these kids have no interest of getting out, it only make’s it easier for the parents to sit them infront of games and what not so they can lead a more blissful, less stress filled life.

  5. Squire says:

    Things never change – older generations will always disapprove of some aspect of the younger generations. I’ve even caught myself doing it now I’ve moved into the next age bracket on questionnaires and things.

    The media will always be quick to point out things “wrong” with the youth of today. In time, we’ll see it was actually just a load of fuss about nothing, just as these things have always been, and how they’ll continue for years to come.

    Good read!

  6. Kevin says:

    Do you not think that the government could be doing more to create safe places for children to play? No longer can children go and kick a ball around their estate without hitting a “no ball games” sign or one of too many cars parked on the roads.

    This is just one of many reasons why children are developing “gaming thumbs” parents can’t let them play outside but can’t let them go to a local park by themselves either for fears of their safety!

  7. k8ty says:

    Great article – true as you say how ‘times have changed’, who are we to say modern day entertainment is something to be frowned upon?! In agreement with you on a phrase I myself adopt time and time again – EVERYTHING IN MODERATION. A simple rule leading the way to healthy and happy living 🙂

  8. Gemma says:

    What a well written and extremely interesting piece. Maybe this is me and having done my undergrad degree in politics and sociology I think society has to answer for a lot of these trends. Though the parents are not blameless I feel that they are grounded in society and see other people’s children playing computer games etc and so this becomes the widely accepted norm. The media and advertising industry for me also have a massive role in manipulating society and I think Chomsky refers to this media and capitalist manipulation as ‘manufacturing consent’.

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