Let’s face it: teaching your kids to go green is great, but getting them to clean up after themselves and not to forget their underwear before walking out the door may come first on your secret priority list. Yet there is a huge opportunity to teach our children how to become more conscious of the environment in the everyday actions they take by developing habits that will stay with them for a lifetime. Here are three dynamic yet simple action steps that will have them respecting their own home and personal development while forming lasting habits toward a safer environment!
1. Leave Something, Plant Something
If your child forgets to make her bed or pick up his toys that you’ve tripped over one too many times, your list of subtle, yet effective ways to drive that habit home once and for all may have become quite long by now. However, there is one habit that when done together can work to heal both the environment and a forgetful mind. Have your child plant a seed each time he or she forgets a crucial household chore. Planting a seed in your own yard teaches them to hone the skill of patience, understanding and consciousness. Watching that seed grow is a healing act that they will forever associate with being more mindful of the world, and home they live in.
Take Them Out in Nature
When Spartan and his friends arrive in the rainforest they see many different animals that live there. These animals depend on the plants and trees around them for survival. This may be a difficult notion for children to grasp. By taking them out to local parks or forests you can help them get a firsthand look at these animals in their natural habitats. Admiring these animals in their natural habitats can show your child how careful they are with how they treat their surroundings. Watching a bird carefully construct and then live in its own nest can be a powerful analogy to how your child treats his or her own room at home.
Teach Them That Everyday Items Come from Nature
Not into picking up after themselves? Spartan and his friends learn that the trees that are being cut down may be used for things like making paper. If you teach your child that paper comes from trees or that cotton clothes come from cotton plants you can help them realize that nature is their biggest resource. If they see the environment as a necessity instead of as an arbitrary setting, they will treat it better to ensure that it remains useful, while thinking twice about how they treat the possessions they already have.
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