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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

Sunday, September 18, 2005


When nothing else works

How about a green month?

Watch a pair of kids spending hours playing fast-moving, often violent, video action games and it makes one long to spoon feed them them some of the healing properties of nature and the outdoors. But how important is this?

We can learn much about this urge from a well-developed healing practice known professsionally as Adventure Therapy. It sounds fun, but it is serious business. It is the practice of immersing our most troubled teens and adults -- those with dysfunction, severe emotional problems, histories of violence or substance abuse -- in natural or 'green' settings. Many of these programs take a full month or more and involve venturing into true wilderness areas. Some of the healing comes from the teamwork and problem-solving skills these settings "naturally" provide. But, every expert in this field will tell you that it is time in nature itself that does much of the healing. Most important to remember -- when other therapies have failed, the outdoors work!

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