Why it’s important to teach our kids how to stay connected to the environment.
losing it. Our connection to nature, that is. Every day there’s a new article
on various social media platforms or in the news about how we are destroying
the earth. ‘Plastic to outweigh fish in our oceans by 2050‘, ‘Meat consumption
the end of water’, ‘Do you eat fish? You could be eating plastic’. Still, we do
nothing. Action paralysis. We are so overwhelmed by the seemingly impossible
task at hand that we become incapable of action.
It’s not just the feeling of being overwhelmed
though. If we were more connected to nature on a daily basis this would not be
happening. Remaining inactive would not be an option.
Take the well used but effective example of
internet connectivity. Think about the last time internet was down in your home
or at work. Think of the range of emotions this led to and the lengths you went
to to rectify the situation. Angry calls made to service providers. No doubt
more than one. Made until the problem was rectified. Or the very least, until
you knew when the problem would be attended to.
Why doesn’t the destruction of our planet evoke
this kind of activism?
It’s because we spend all our time on our
phones, online, on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, we spend our time in shopping
malls. We don’t connect to the loss of nature because we’re not connected to
it. Nature is not a place we inhabit much anymore.
But we need to. For us. For our children. For
the future. And we need to do it fast.
Here are some easy ways to make sure your kids
1. Take them hiking
Or walks on the beach, in the park or anywhere
outdoors. It’s great exercise, doesn’t cost anything and the whole family can
do it together.
2. See and interact with
Not everyone can keep pets but there are loads
of facilities where kids can see and get involved with nature. While game
reserves and places like the aquarium are obvious choices they can be costly.
Animal rescue centres are never short of loving company and a little
investigating can often yield interesting results. For example, there’s a wine
estate in Stellenbosch that is home to over 1000 Indian runner ducks that take
care of the bug business amongst the vines and if you visit at a certain time
of day you get to witness this spectacular spectacle.
3. Bring the outside in.
Filling your home with plants serves as a
constant reminder of the beauty of nature, not to mention the great work plants
do of filtering and purifying the air in your home. Even better, teach your
child how to grow something from seed and give them the gift of nurturing
something into its full potential.
What do you do with your kids on a regular
basis to keep them connected to our world? Send your comments to