Since moving we have had to become more environmentally conscious
We have less rubbish bins (we moved from a communal flat bin shed) to our own teeny tiny bin so we have been taking recycling more seriously! That being said, I have to admit up until now it wasn’t something we were particularly good at so it’s great that we are incorporating it into the toddlers life too, teaching him what goes in the bin and recycling and what doesn’t! So when Tracey suggested this guest post I thought we could all learn a bit more about teaching kids (and probably us as well) to be more environmentally conscious.
A Bit About Tracey:
Tracey Clayton is a full-time mum of three girls. She feels she knows a thing or two about raising happy, healthy and confident kids, and offers helpful advice in hers parenting articles. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”
In these tough times, we’re becoming more aware of the problems our planet is facing. From global warming and overpopulation to wasting resources, we haven’t exactly been kind to Mother Nature. This is why teaching your children to become more environmentally conscious is essential to their development. How can you do that? Well, teach them about the three big Rs: reduce, reuse and recycle. It’s best to develop a strategy and help your child learn the importance of keeping the planet safe. After all, the problems we create might not bother us now, but they will harm our children in the future. So, here are a few ways you and your child can help preserve nature.
Lead by example
Reducing waste can come through conservation of raw energy and materials, or through repurposing and recycling old things. Your child needs to know how recycling can help the planet, so instead of just telling them to do what they are told, sit down with them and explain why is this important and how to help. Kids adore their parents and tend to soak up anything they see them doing, especially when they’re very young. Don’t expect your child to do something that you yourself never bother to do. Always sort your waste and resist the pull of the consumerism society that wants to make you buy more and more. Constantly buying things that you don’t need not only leads to an empty wallet, but also a very unhealthy mindset that has us thinking we’ll be unhappy unless we own more stuff. That’s the biggest trap you can fall into, and your child needs to learn from an early age not to be overly focused on material things. In this case, less is more, so teach your kid to be mindful and to always ask themselves “Do I really need that?” before they ask you to buy them anything.
Set up a good environment
Europe is generally the champion when it comes to recycling, with Switzerland, Austria and Germany taking the top spots. Being environmentally conscious is something that comes from our culture, and the way we are raised. Depending on where you are, taking care of the place you live may be a part of your country’s background. If it isn’t, there are things you can do. In Australia, people are starting early, with new Melbourne child care centres incorporating various activities and lessons aimed at making children more interested in science and the environment. Early education is extremely important because this is when your kids get to develop useful habits that will help them understand their surroundings better and learn valuable skills. Surround your child by positive examples, have them watch clever shows and cartoons that will make learning fun. If it’s not a part of your country’s culture, make it a part of your family culture to care about the well-being of the environment.
Learn through play
You probably have a lot of old clothing laying around the house that you can easily turn into toys for your child. Have your child help you make a teddy bear from an old sweater, or star making a quilt, or even a cute handbag for your girl. Ride bikes and teach your child to conserve energy by watching less TV and spending more time playing outside. Go on an adventure in the park and make sure they always clean up after themselves. Purchase reusable products and second-hand clothing, and if they are allowed online time, show them games that will teach them about ecology and the environment. Allowing your child to learn through playing will help them grasp the lessons quickly and they’ll be satisfied to know something new.
Kids are little bundles of joy and curiosity, and you should nurture their natural desire to learn. Always be there to explain things they don’t understand and have a lot of examples ready. It’s important to keep this planet safe, and if you start your lessons early, your child will grow up to be a good, conscientious person.
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