Really?! Here in the UK?
Sadly, I'm not surprised. As a teacher I'm privy to a great deal of information about the interventions which have to be put into place for vulnerable or depressed children. Depression in children is on the increase, and I think as parent we need to ask ourselves why? Personally I believe that it's because they are more aware of the world around them, they're told of too many problems that exist before they're emotionally capable of dealing with them, and because society is too busy for their needs.
When was the last time you went screen-free for any substantial amount of time and simply played?
Tuesday of this week saw the day going pear-shaped before it had even really started. I was groggy and grumpy, the drone of the fridge, washing machine, dehumidifier and even the turned-off Sky box was getting to me. I stood on one side of the stairgate looking at my screaming and sobbing child stood on the other side, wondering where my rational brain had gone and why I was having an argument with him.
Twenty minutes later.
We had pulled into the car park of the country park with my head still buzzing from the electricity. Having donned our wellies and grabbed our bag of bread for the swans and ducks, we set off in search of the important stuff; fun and happiness. Encircled by hungry swans trying to take bread directly from the bag, I shared the provisions out while The Boy fed the white ducks directly from his hand.
He was cycling around the edge of the lake and towards the park when we found some tracks in the mud.
This is how we ended up in the woods above, practising our tree climbing. We tracked the horse into the woods, where the ground turned harder and the leaves covered the tracks, however there was a magnificent sweeping bough begging to be straddled! And yes, I climbed the trees to, and it was liberating.
Despite not being able to find any spruce branches, we still managed to build a cracking den, putting into practise the wonderful advice from Rob Cowen of the Natural Childhood campaign. I'm not sure that The Boy understands the concept of twigs though.
I can't have my child ending up as one of the unhappiest, I just can't. This is why we've signed the pledge to spend as much time outdoors as we do in front of the screen with Project Wild Thing.
- #1 – Climb a tree
- #4 – Build a den
- #34 – Track an animal