Did you know many kids average only 4 to 7 minutes outside per day!? Those same kids average over 6 hours per day on screens…video games, social media not to mention online school…just reading that gives me anxiety.
I have opted for a polar childhood for my daughter. She is outside for the majority of the day everyday. We do watch TV together but we mostly adventure and play. The benefits are blatant and beautiful and undeniable for both of us.
The author Tom Corley compiled a test telling about how to raise our children to be successful and happy in life and it puts kids in one of six categories giving the likelihood of success later in life…not even one question related to success in school or test scores! The questions related to strong relationships, gratitude, self care (exercise, sleep, limiting junk food and screen time, etc.) Being responsible with money, being a life long learner.
It seems we as parents focus so much on school success and extracurricular activities in order to create a well rounded child that we forget that perhaps these aren’t the things that truly matter. These aren’t the areas that facilitate true happiness or success later in life. What about the value in areas that can’t necessarily be measured?
I decided early that I wanted my daughter to see the magical parts of the life. To see outside as the ultimate playground. I knew that for me finding dragonflies and baby frogs was far superior to artificial light and staring at a screen. I also see the direct relationship between the amount of time I spend outside and my mood so I knew it would also be healing, educational and bonding for us as a family.
We start our day with a walk in our jammies. Just a little walk to see the stars (we get up early) and to pick flowers for potions and to decide on the direction our day will take. It is one of my favorite traditions and always sets the tone for the day.
Sunlight regulates human physiology and behavior. Sunlight effects hundreds of bodily functions because our bodies have daily rhythms that require exposure to the sun’s day and night schedule to function at its highest level. When you consider that humans spend over 90% of their waking hours indoors our decision to spend the majority of our day outside feels like such an act of rebellion.
I desire to raise a whole, brilliant, kind and interesting human who talks to you while looking into your eyes. I am so changed by living this way and encourage anyone to try it for a week and watch the immediate benefits.