COLERAINE author Lee-anne Fairbairn says kids are losing touch with books and spending more time with computers.
The mother of two said children were being seduced into a life without books, with the average Australian child spending up to 37 hours a week on electronic media.
“I think parents are really busy and they’re trying to pack a lot in,” she said.
“Today though, children aren’t really allowed the freedom to run wild. Parents are busy and they’re also worried about their children’s safety.”
Ms Fairbairn referred to a condition researched by American author Richard Louv, which he calls nature deficit disorder.
The disorder, reputed to be caused by spending less time outdoors, may result in children suffering from behavioural problems, low attention span, lack of skill in reading and a limited imagination.
Ms Fairbairn said she had organised a retreat to counter the disorder and it was an opportunity for families to come together, as well as to get children’s imagination to flow.
“As an author, I am horrified that children would rather play on the iPad than engage their imagination with a good book — if this trend continues we will be guilty of raising a generation devoid of its own authors,” she said.
The “Our Little Footsteps Retreat” at Brambuk Cultural Centre in Halls Gap will be held on October 5, 6 and 7. All proceeds will go to the charity Homes for Haiti.
For more information visit www.wholeheartedwellness.com.au