- 1 Kids Should Reduce Screen Time and Spend Time with Nature
- 2 How to help children understand and respect nature?
Kids Should Reduce Screen Time and Spend Time with Nature
The world has come to a very critical point where the negative consequences of the last hundred years of unbridled growth are now surfacing. There is no doubt that humanity has seen immense growth and development in the last hundred years but at what cost?
Our Current Lifestyle is Not Sustainable!
We have used fossil fuels to increase the pace of our growth while damaging the environment we live in. Till a few decades ago, people were not concerned with the concept of global warming because it was not having as much of an impact but today we can see that global warming is driving significant changes in the world.
In the last few months, freak storms and floods have occurred in Germany, Japan, the USA, London, South Asia. Canada just saw record-breaking heat that killed hundreds of people and millions of marine animals. Northern Europe is experiencing a severe heat wave that scientists and researchers cannot explain. We can see all of this happening right in front of our eyes.
It is becoming increasingly clear that the way in which we have lived in the last hundred years, is not sustainable. Our growth has come at the cost of nature. We have destroyed forests, coral reefs. Human activity has forced native animal species in many areas to migrate.
The Need to Reconnect With Nature
Throughout human history, humans have always had a very close link with nature. Take the last hundred years out of the book and look at the rest of the history. Our ancestors were in tune with nature. The point of saying all of this is not to make you throw away your phone and computer and run towards the jungle. No! But it is to remind everyone reading this, that our way of life has changed so much that we are on the brink of severing our connection with nature.
Those of us who are adults, still remember it but the greater danger is to our kids who have grown in a digital world. Kids born after 2010, opened their eyes to see the smartphone revolution. Their lives revolve around digital screens so much that they have forgotten what nature feels like. They can watch nature videos on Youtube and learn everything possible through the internet but until and unless they experience being in nature first hand, they will never truly feel how it feels to be one with nature.
Technology is Temporary, Nature is Permanent
We can teach kids to be curious about their surroundings. But we need to go beyond that. We need to teach kids to live in nature. Children around the world are growing up in an increasingly digital world. And they’re exposed to technology every day. But we’re not exposing them to the wonder of nature. We need to expose them to nature to prevent the development of a society that values things over people. We need to teach kids to live in nature because it’s the most powerful learning tool we have.
The world is getting increasingly complex. We’re connected to it through our phones, our computers, and our cars. We have a hard time understanding the relationship between these devices and our world. What if we taught kids to be curious, and how to interact with their environment?
We need to expose them to nature. But how do we do that?
Increase Interaction With Nature!
We need to connect with nature through our senses. By connecting with nature through our senses, we’re able to see, hear, smell, taste, and feel the world. It’s the most powerful way to learn about our world. Parents need to actively take out time to take their children out in nature. Australia in many aspects is very blessed when it comes to this. Since the country is geographically isolated from the rest of the world, most of the biodiversity of Australia is still intact and this provides a lot of opportunities to bond with nature to teach the children that there is more to this world than technology.
Kids Do What kids see – Lead by example
Teach the kids to be at one with nature and protect it by recycling things, by not buying products that harm the environment. By actively look for sustainable products. The best way that you can teach this is by doing this yourself. Remember that children will never learn something that they do not see you doing. Children learn more by watching us, than by listening to us. If they see the parents interacting with and respecting nature, they are more likely to do the same.
A few things we can do are:
- Let them explore the world around them. When we allow our kids to explore the world around them, we are allowing them to learn about nature. Go on camping trips to teach kids how to survive in the wilderness with minimum technology. Teach them the primitive methods of creating a fire, camping and gathering food. Kids love this.
- We need to teach kids to respect nature. Children need to respect nature to the same extent that they respect their own family. Children need to learn to respect the world around them. It’s a natural progression that we can teach them to respect nature. We can teach kids to respect nature by teaching them about wildlife, the environment, and natural phenomena.
- Give them nature to play with. We can give them something they can play with. Kids love to play and they can have a lot of fun playing in nature. This includes visiting farms to spend time with animals, or getting a pet.
- Recycle products to teach kids the importance of keeping the environment safe.
- Use only sustainable products, this will teach the kids that it is their responsibility too, to take care of the nature.
- Make a habit of planting trees with your children. Plant trees as frequently as possible. Or make your child responsible for planting and take care of a seedling till it grows into a tree. This is a long term project that will create a bond between the children and nature.
It’s not like the children don’t care. They are very interested in nature. They are curious and they love to explore and learn about the world around them. But, it seems like this trend of technology is eroding the desire to explore the outdoors. The fact is that technology helps us discover the wonders of nature and keeps us connected to the world. We can’t get rid of technology but we can teach kids to use it with a sense of balance.
How to help children understand and respect nature?
Spending time in nature for mental health, take a day to have a picnic lunch outside with your students. It’ll be like a field trip (hooray for the kids!) without the chaos the natural environment as a source for understanding and creation of environmental awareness and consciousness among children.