Author Richard Louv argues that individuals and families have become disconnected from nature and consequently are suffering from what he calls Nature Deficit Disorder. Today, families are increasingly spending large amounts of leisure time indoors, usually spending that time with electronic media.
When my children were young I would get up at 6 am to go running. One day my 5 year old daughter, my oldest, had gotten up, went downstairs and turned on the TV. When I realized that she was capable of this every time I went running I got rid of our television. It might seem extreme to some, but we didn't watch it much anyway.
Cut to 9 years later and not only do we have 2 t.v.'s, but they are the least of my worries. My daughter is 14 now and has a cell phone. We also have an ipad, a laptop and 2 computers. I realize what a simple solution I had all those years ago and how hard it is to manage media time now. I am pretty strict about technology in our home, but it's a tricky balance that I am still working on.
One thing I am glad we implemented was no technology on Sunday. As busy as we can get during the week we set all phones, tv time and comptuer time aside for the day. We go to church, read, play games, nap and just be together as a family.
In the 'Successful Marriages and Family' text it discusses how wholesome recreation is important for families. But what exactly is wholesome recreation? It doesn't have to be hiking, or game playing, or constantly engaged in conversation. Wholesome recreation means being together for an extended period of time in the outdoors reconnecting with each other.
Our weeks, like most people, are busy. But a few nights a week we take our dog on a walk, this morning my husband and I took our son on a run. We play music in the backyard and jump on the trampoline, we swim, surf, and picnic.
I know not everyone has an ocean or a pool, but we all have access to being outside and should make a priority to make it happen. Our kids feel the love we have for them when we limit their distractions as well as our own, and just be a family, talking, laughing, running around enjoying nature. I have a testimony of all the good and bonding that happens when families spend this time with God's creations.