Because of the busy pace of modern life, many children spend most of their time indoors and have little exposure to the natural world. How important is it for children to learn to understand and appreciate nature?
I still hear my grandmother yelling at me asking me to stop playing on the streets and come inside to have a snack. I still smell the freshness in the air when we took vacations on hill sides. I can still feel the dampness under my feet when we played in the rain water. Does a modern day kid know any of these? I seriously doubt that.
Today, inorder to give a comfortable life for their children, both the parents work. They are busy running errands around and hardly have time for the kids. As a result (in other words, out of guilty feeling) they allow kids to do whatever they want to do - like watching TV, playing with their playstation or spending time on computer/tabs/smartphones. Children these days hardly spend time outside their homes.
I recently attended a birthday party. I saw children, in the age group of about 8-12yrs, with their smartphones. Most of them were either listening to music or chatting with their friends or playing games. Same thing happened when we were spending our vacation in Florida. Even in the beach, every member in the family were so engrossed in their cellphones and hardly spoke with each other. I was surprised to see them and at the same time felt bad to see how they have isolated themselves.
This raises a very important question, "Do our kids understand and appreciate nature?". I think today no one does. During summer holidays how many kids do we see in the streets playing? How many of them prefer beaches and mountains over xbox and movie theater? How many kids have taken nature trail or spent a day without any modern technologies? Result - diabetes at younger age, heart problems, obesity and mental problems to name a few.
I strongly feel it is the responsibility of parents to teach children to learn to understand and appreciate nature. This helps in maintaining good health and stable mind.