Watch Out Mother Nature, Here Come the Soccer Moms, and Boy are They a Bitchy Group » Teeny Manolo

Watch Out Mother Nature, Here Come the Soccer Moms, and Boy are They a Bitchy Group

By Glinda

Kids love nature!

In a nutshell, that is what an “eminent biologist/naturist” EO Wilson said at at the Aspen Environmental Forum.

Well, Mr. Wilson, we’re even worse when we have PMS.

Not one to be above some hyperbole, Mr. Wilson was trying to encourage his audience to think about how our current society, with its advances in technology and fear of children running around unsupervised, has made our children disconnected from nature.  In theory, this leads to a society that will care less about nature than previous generations.

While I agree that we are moving toward more structure in our children’s lives via classes and playdates, I think the death of the appreciation of nature has been greatly overexaggerated. 

I don’t have to force the Munchkin outside, he loves being outside.  There is all this hand-wringing about how computers and video games are ruining our kids, but my son loves nothing more than playing in the mud.  I wish I was kidding.  Given the choice to watch Scooby Doo or go out and dig in his alloted spot in the planter, he will choose the digging every single time.  He loves the beach and just today was complaining that we haven’t been in so long. 

I happen to think that children have an innate connection with nature.  I don’t know any mom who purposely keeps their kid cooped up in the house all day.  In fact, it is exactly the opposite.   It might be because of where I live, but I don’t that’s all of it.

While I understand that Mr. Wilson was trying to make a point, I really think he is selling us moms short.

Or, maybe he is simply trying to pull a classic mom ploy.  Hands off the guilt trips, Mr. Wilson, they’re all ours!

8 Responses to “Watch Out Mother Nature, Here Come the Soccer Moms, and Boy are They a Bitchy Group”

  1. dgm Says:

    Admittedly I didn’t click on the link, but I will say that I know plenty of older kids (and families) who are disconnected from nature. Their lives are so scheduled that there is no time or parental interest to stop and smell the roses, so to speak. I think kids are easily engaged by the outdoors and all its offerings, but they need the chance to slow down and collect rocks or shells. If they are always doing homework or being driven to some practice or another, that ain’t gonna happen. We make a deliberate effort to make it happen but I don’t think that’s the norm among people in our area.

  2. Ana Says:

    I agree with you that kids of an innate appreciation with kids. Unfortunately, I have met some metro-mamas that seemed to make an effort to beat that inner desire out of their kids. I took my son to a birthday party of one of my son’s classmates. It was at a pottery making house on this farm. My son had a BLAST and got super dirty. I couldn’t believe how many mother complained about how dirty their kids got and how the farm was this and that…complaints, complaints, complaints. Good grief!

  3. Ana Says:

    Correction to the first sentence: What I meant was “I agree with you that kids have an innate appreciation of nature”. lol! Mommy brain over here!

  4. marvel Says:

    I think the structure of cities and suburbs makes it more difficult for kids to get out into nature. Also children are supervised a lot more because parents feel it’s unsafe to let them be unsupervised (not without reason.) There was a great article with accompanying map about this in the Daily Mail:

    I agree with Glinda that all children love to be outside. I think it does take a lot more effort on parents’ parts to ensure they can be outside. I certainly wouldn’t let my daughter walk to her favorite fishing spot 6 miles from home unsupervised!!!! I’d get written up for child neglect. But there were times and places when and where that was okay (see article linked).

  5. Glinda Says:

    Marvel, that’s a great article and map. The other day, my Dad was telling me exactly the same thing, that he could wander all around. And was in fact encouraged to wander everywhere by himself.

    Ana, if you can’t let a kid get dirty, then something is wrong, right? 😉

    dgm, I’m surprised to hear that. I wonder if it is because I have a more faux-woodsy feel where I live.

  6. raincoaster Says:

    The UK is spending £225million on “play strategy.” Their number one weapon? New playgrounds. Sounds silly until you realize there are entire towns were playing outdoors with a ball is outlawed.

    I was so lucky when I was a child to live near the woods and be allowed to play in them unsupervised. I don’t remember the interior of my first school, but I do remember the pond we had there, and the day the pelican escaped from the zoo and perched on the fence. With kids as old as fourteen not allowed out of their parents’ sight, what you have is kids who’ve only grown up in environments that 40-year-olds find comfortable. This is not a good thing.

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