Get back to nature with your kids
Why it’s important to teach our kids how to stay connected to the environment.
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We’re 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 stay ‘earthed’.

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 animals

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 chatback@parent24.com.

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