Friday, January 30, 2009

Nature Deficit Disorder

Many city kids are terrified of animals of all kinds: even squirrels in the park. Today scientists think that "Nature Deficit Disorder" is linked to the increase in hyperactivity, ADD and other behavioural disorders as well as stress.

Dog Talk is out tomorrow in the print version of the Weekend section in The Star, the Malaysian national daily. It discusses what nature deficit disorder is, and how you can get kids to connect more with nature.

I've mentioned that a pet like a dog can be a great way to get kids to connect with nature. But as mentioned before, there are some things to consider.

Generally speaking, medium sized shorthaired dogs are big enough to be robust and easiest to groom. Kids must be old enough to be able to care for their pets properly. We were given our first dogs when we were 11 years old.

Also, consider adopting a puppy aged 9 to 16 weeks and then making the kids take the new family member to training classes. This will teach kids and dogs to take care of each other.

Remember that the average dog lives for 15 years. This means it is likely kids will go off to college when the family dog is medium aged. At this point the adults left behind will have to take care of the pet.

If you don’t feel a dog will be a member of your family, don’t adopt one. Instead, get your kids to help out at the local animal shelter, or take them on outings where they can interact with nature. The a Malaysia Nature Society offers some fantastic opportunities.

As promised, here are some extra resources:

What is Nature Deficit Disorder?

Nature Deficit Disorder: The Disconnect Between our Children and the Environment

Do kids have nature deficit disorder?

Are your kids really spending enough time outdoors?

Parents worry about 'nature-deficit disorder' in kids

Combat Loaded & Mission Ready! Blog written by Ee Lynn, the woman who runs Green Living, a Malaysia Nature Society venture that gets kids out in the country.

SPCA and Paws: Malaysian organisations that always need volunteers to help with the animals.

Also, please keep an eye out for this missing pet:

Arjun, missing from SS1 Petaling Jaya:

Arjun is male, 10 years old, tan/brown colour, medium-size local breed, very friendly dog (does not bite)

Arjun may still be wearing a blue collar with red MBPJ 2008 license & silver identification tag (with owner's address, phone numbers etc. engraved).

Last seen on Wednesday, December 10, 2008 @ 2pm around Jalan SS1/11, 47300 Petaling Jaya (nearby SRK Kampung Tunku primary school, 7-Eleven convenience store & Kampung Tunku Post Office) and he may have travelled >8km away.

Arjun was spotted by residents in SS24, SS25 Taman Megah PJ & SS26 Taman Mayang PJ between January 13 - 24, 2009 walking into people's homes looking for help but was chased away every time unfortunately.

If you have seen Arjun, please do contact:

Ramin 012-2172721
Chan 012-2183698
Teh 012-6121833

More Photos, Video, Info & Updates @ & any useful information leading to Arjun being found will be rewarded, thanks for your kind help!


~CovertOperations78~ said...

Thanks for the free publicity. LOL. I complain way too much about city kids in my blog.

Gretchen said...

I can't imagine living in a city where my children wouldn't be exposed to animals on a daily basis. What's childhood without a house filled with dogs, cats, hamsters, frogs, etc...?