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NWF Green Hour

Commentary on what parents should know about and can do to counteract common "nature deficit disorders" in our TV-watching, video game-playing children including encouraging a daily "Green Hour" of outside play and learning. A program of the National Wildlife Federation

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Parenting in 2005 -- Inside and Out

In the late 20th Century, two somewhat contradictory trends occurred simulataneoulsly. First, we learned that raising children is really called "parenting" and involves paying more attention than ever to a child's well-being and development. Second, under our noses, children became almost completely wired and, what began as concern about too much gawking at the "boob tube," evolved to a new-found preoccupation with e-mails, text messages, instant messaging, game boys, DVDs and more.

Now we need to look at "parenting" in this new cyber-hued light. There are many reasons why parents should get their kids away from electronic screens and off the sofa -- fitness, less agitation, higher self esteem, creativity and more. And, there are wonderful reasons to spend some of that time new-found time outdoors.

Consider camping. Camping? -- Am I kidding? In the old days, kids used to love outdoor camping. But what about these days? Most kids still love camping but it is now so unfamiliar to them they will likely protest the very idea. Still, camping is a proven way to spend time good with kids and strenghten those ever-challenged parenting skills.

On August 20th the National Wildlife Federation is hosting the Great American Backyard Campout. It makes camping simple and fun and you can do it right in your own backyard -- or on the patio or in any friendly and familiar outdoor space. Click on: to sign up and see what it is like.

Or -- for more camping information -- you can check out:

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