Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Children and the Benefits of Country Living

With each day that passes, it seems that we are becoming ever-more reliant on digital technology. Such advancements in technology have improved our lives in many ways. But it’s also meant that we’ve forgotten the importance of ‘going back to basics’. The majority of children nowadays can easily watch their favourite show on an iPad, or download the latest mobile app. But they may have no idea how to make a daisy chain, or roly-poly down a grassy hill.  Moving to the countryside with a young family can help to redress that balance. There’s no doubt that it’s essential for your kids to be tech-savvy. However, it’s just as important to nurture a love of the outdoors and promote a healthy style of living. And living in a countryside location will help you do exactly that.  

Living in the countryside doesn’t necessarily have to mean being in the middle of nowhere with only cows and sheep for company. In fact, if you have a young family this would be utterly impractical. There are many semi-rural locations that offer good commuter links to major cities and provide all modern amenities. Estate agents in South Woodham Ferrers are full of semi-rural properties for sale. And yet you’re in the middle of Essex, with London practically on your doorstep. This shows that with a little clever planning, you can have the best of both worlds.

The key thing is to choose a place that has lots of greenery and wildlife and plenty of space for your children to run around in. If possible, choose a property with a park or woodland nearby where you know they’ll be safe. This creates a space for them to do what kids do best, which is use their imaginations. It’s also about encouraging kids to get out in the fresh air and to help make sure they get regular exercise. The fresh, unpolluted countryside air will also help to stimulate their cognitive abilities. You may find they becoming better at concentrating, which could help them to improve their grades at school.

Allowing your child to rely on technology, especially to entertain themselves, can actually be detrimental to their development. We’ve forgotten that the best toys we had when we were young weren’t fancy gadgets or the latest computer game. They were sticks and cardboard boxes and dens we built in the garden. The wonderful thing about children is that to them, a cardboard box can be absolutely anything. It could be a space rocket one minute and then become a pirate ship the next. And by encouraging children to use their brains as well as their gadgets, we teach them to become well-rounded adults.

Climbing a tree, building a den, riding a bicycle - these are the memories of childhood that tend to endure when we become adults. We need to remember that the simple things in life aren’t only free, but they’re usually the most rewarding. And if it’s not our responsibility to also teach our children that, then whose is it?  

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