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How to Raise a Wild Child

The Art and Science of Falling in Love With Nature

By Scott D. Sampson
  • Read in 13 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 8 key ideas
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How to Raise a Wild Child by Scott D. Sampson

How to Raise a Wild Child (2015) will help your family reconnect with nature. With helpful hints and clever strategies, these blinks will ensure your kids can enjoy the scientifically proven benefits of growing up in the great outdoors.

Key idea 1 of 8

Kids today spend little time outside – for a number of reasons.

Ask a 50-year-old man or woman about their childhood and they’ll gladly tell you about the time they spent playing in the street or roaming about the woods. If you could ask children born today the same question in 50 years, they’d probably give you a very different answer.

Kids today spend much of their free time indoors in front of a screen. What changed? First off, modern parents are very concerned about their children’s safety. Increasing reports of child abduction in the mass media have left many parents afraid to let their kids play outdoors without supervision.

And, as more families live in cities, where more dangers and fewer safe spaces to play exist for children outside, it’s no small wonder that keeping kids inside has become the preferred option. But that’s not all.

Children growing up today will also face a more ruthless and competitive job market than any generation before them. Parents naturally want their children to succeed and are anxious to fill their children’s free time with valuable educational opportunities. A jam-packed schedule of piano lessons, sports practice and academic tutoring often leaves children with as little free time as their stressed-out parents.

And when children do find themselves with free time, it’s not the backyard that beckons. Hooked on video games, TV shows and social networking sites, children are happy to spend their time alone in their rooms in front of a screen.

Each of these developments points in the same direction: very little time outdoors in a child’s typical schedule. Recent studies reveal that the average American child spends four to seven minutes a day outside, compared to seven hours spent in front of screens. This statistic sounds fairly shocking, but is an indoor childhood really so bad?

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