I have a guest post this week on Parenting And Sustainability by Ellen Spencer.
Good parenting is a skill that is learned. It comes with experience and abiding by the basic rules of how to be a good and responsible parent. Boundaries are set for kids; instructions are given on how and why elders must be respected and so on. But, what about teaching sustainability to them, is it really that important? The answer is yes. We’re moving towards a world where natural resources are dwindling, pollution has reached an all-time high and the garbage issue is turning the planet into a landfill. Ingraining the importance of sustainable living in children will ensure that future generations grow up to be innovative and socially and environmentally responsible citizens.
Children are an intuitive and curious lot. By introducing them to activities that combine sustainability and enhancing their cognitive and motor skills, most kids can grow up to be physically able with a maturity not found in many children who lead sheltered lives. So, how do we teach them the basics of living off the earth as well as preserving it?
Gardening tools comes in a variety of sizes. Some are designed especially for children with non-toxic and blunt-edged pitchforks, spades and rakes. Introduce these tools to him from very young age and make him assist you in your gardening. With time, he will learn how to plant seeds, get rid of weeds and know the importance of not killing earthworms.
You can hone his motor skills by teaching him how to sift through seeds, picking up dropped or fallen berries, relocating earthworms and carrying eggs without breaking them. He can learn how to balance himself by climbing trees to pick fruits and weaving around your garden without stepping on flower beds. Teach him the concept of color by asking him to help out with flower selection. Work with him in a greenhouse to educate him on the nuances of growing plants and flowers. Expand his knowledge by teaching him the relationship between plants, sunlight, warmth and water.
A hands-on experience beats a bit of talk any day. While telling children about the importance of daily living may educate them to an extent, there is nothing like having a first-hand experience. The more your child learns about the realities of where food comes from or how so-and-so works, the more he will appreciate the art of living.
With proper time management, parents can also set aside time for other activities like games and reading to balance things out. Let them know their duty of helping around the house with cooking, dish washing, dusting and vacuuming. If you have pets, give them the responsibility of feeding, bathing and cleaning up after them. Teach them to be alert for signs of illness.
Begin this tutelage early and your kids will grow up to be independent and capable citizens. Start late and all you will hear are complaints and disgruntlement. It is never too early to teach kids how to live in a sustainable manner. Lead by example and, hopefully, the children of the future will take it upon themselves to learn how to sustain our ailing planet.
About the author: Ellen Spencer is a blogger and writer. She is a health freak and very environmentally aware. These days she is busy in writing an article on Psoriatic arthritis. Beside this she is fond of kids GPS tracking apps.