Vitamin N: Are You Getting Enough?
I had the privilege of meeting Richard Louv at Science World a while back. He is an expert on Vitamin N. The N stands for NATURE and he stresses the benefits and importance of exposure to nature.
Louv has written several books on the subject and we sat in on his lecture at Science World. In many ways he put me at ease in some of my parenting tactics. I think some of my neighbours and friends might find me careless. You see, I have to say our kids do spend a lot of time outdoors doing things that are not always safe like climbing trees or playing with sticks, running around in bare feet in the grass, or digging for worms and playing in dirt, making forts…some of the same things I did when I was a kid. I let them get dirty and I let them be dangerous.
The up-side is they are getting enough Vitamin N but the down side is they do get dirty, clothes get stained they end up with cuts, bruises, slivers and stinging nettle rashes but ohhhh do they have fun.
I appreciate what Louv has to say. LAST CHILD IN THE WOODS: SAVING OUR CHILDREN FROM NATURE DEFICIT DISORDER was a bestseller that looked at the growing body of evidence linking the lack of nature in childrens lives to a rise in obesity, attention disorders and even anxiety and depression. The book encouraged readers to get outside and be sure to take the children. THE NATURE PRINCIPLE: RECONNECTING WITH LIFE IN A VIRTUAL AGE is another one of his books that focuses on a hopeful future as we reconnect with the natural world. And his most recent book VITAMIN N: THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO A NATURE RICH LIFE gives readers practical tips on increasing Vitamin N.
Richard Louv suggests that when boredom, bad behaviours or big problems arise, we do not always need some new toy or gadget, maybe not even an expensive indoor therapy session or a prescription for a bottle of pills. Some times we need a dose of Vitamin N and some good old fashioned fresh air just might do the trick. It is worth a shot.
He even signed my books with the directive GET OUTSIDE…so I gotta go, and you should too!