Learn how to love nature

It’s been days and weeks that young people have been rallying all around the world for climate. What a reason!

Nowadays, it’s being an undeniable and real emergency. A large number of scientists from different countries are pushing the hot button.

Being myself very active and involved in ecology, I have quickly asked myself some questions : “How can I impact my daughter’s consciousness without anxiety? Whilst we do not know yet what’s going to happen to us, how am I supposed to prepare her for the biggest challenge she is going to face?

“To protect you must love.” 

“Be careful” was my first automatic response:

  • Careful, water is precious 
  • Careful, do not leave the light on 
  • Careful, do not waste food 
  • Careful, do color both sides of your paper, because we use trees! 

Etc… Even if we must empower our children by teaching them links between causes and effects, I knew that this method could make them feel guilty and anxious. I had to find a more positive and constructive way to make her understand how precious nature is.

Don’t forget that the best way to learn is through experimentation.

If I want my kid to love Nature, I must show her how to love it!

This is more essential than ever, because more and more children are suffering from a true lack of nature. Richard Louv was the first person to ring the alarm writing his book Last Child in the Woods (2005). He highlights how disconnected companies are from nature.

The reasons are :

  • our urbanized lifestyle
  • more and more tar and indoor playgrounds for kids
  • less free time (cf article “Helping your child feels reassured“)
  • media feature topics related to insecurity and encourage parents to overprotect their children
by Sandrine Verdier

“We are becoming smarter outside” (Louis Espinassous)

There are numerous benefits of contact with nature demonstrated in neurocognitive studies.

We understand now that children being in regular contact with nature :

  • develop hight self-esteem and are less stressed
  • are more creative, gaine a sense of empathy and increase their concentration
  • have a strong immune system
  • obtain a better coordination, fine motor skills and a more important development of the five senses
  • are more confortable in their relationship with others (friends, family…)

In Switzerland and Germany, many schools of nature  are being created. They are called waldkindergarten. No more classrooms, let’s learn in the forest! During all day, children discover nature, great spaces, outdoor playgrounds,  and connect with the earth, trees and plants. They learn how to use tools and start a fire.

You might say, unbelievable! However, according to scientific studies, this education has greater benefits for a child.

As a parent, “we should leave them alone” and stop making them feel guilty with our numerous recommandations. This is one great advice from Louis Espinassous in his book Laissons les grimper aux arbres. 

What about leaving them get close to nature, having fun and discovering life?

This is the best way to become responsible eco-citizens for a better world, don’t you think?

by Sandrine Verdier

 

 

 

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