“A landmark report released by Common Sense Media finds that teenagers (ages 13-18) use an average of nine hours of entertainment media per day and that tweens (ages 8-12) use an average of six hours a day, not including time spent using media for school or homework” (Common Sense Media, 3 Nov, 2015).
We’re living in a day of age where kids would rather sit passively on the couch staring at a screen rather than create and experience an adventure in the great outdoors. Nature is essential to the psychological, physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being and development of children, yet more time is being spent plugged-in than outside.
“Television’s contribution to family life has been an equivocal one. For while it has, indeed, kept the members of the family from dispersing, it has not served to bring them together. By its domination of the time families spend together, it destroys the special quality that distinguishes one family from another, a quality that depends to a great extent on what a family does, what special rituals, games, recurrent jokes, familiar songs, and shared activities it accumulates” (Marie Winn).
“When you’re sitting in front of a screen, you’re not using all of your senses at the same time. Nowhere other than in nature do kids use their senses in such a stimulated way” Richard Louv.
If you are looking for more guidance in setting boundaries regarding screen time with your kids and want to learn more about the benefits of being outside, we encourage you to read The Plug-In Drug by Marie Winn and Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv.
We pray for wisdom as we raise our children in a time where media runs rampant and nature is unappreciated. The Bible says, “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind” (Job 12:7). Help us as we teach our children to look to nature to learn more about You.
In Your name we pray,