As a parent, it’s your responsibility to raise your children with a strong set of morals and values. You want them to be able to grow up and be successful, happy adults.
One way you can instill important life values in your children is through gardening together. Teaching your kids how to garden can expose them to essential life skills that they may have otherwise just taken for granted.
Let’s look at some of the benefits of gardening to children.
In today’s world, kids are used to having everything they could ever want. Food is plentiful, water is easy to come by, and there is an abundance of toys and material goods to go around.
But as soon as they step into the garden, they quickly realize that not everything is always going to be handed to them. Vegetables aren’t immediately available by the end of the day – not even the fastest growing vegetables. They certainly wouldn’t reap the rewards if they abandon their project, either.
In other words, they’ll have to work for their reward. And instilling this value early in life helps your kid value hard work and appreciate the things they have more.
Gardening is not an instantaneous process. It takes weeks to months for a plant to sprout from a seed, even when you’ve done all the right things to care for them.
Even for tasks that are completed more quickly, such as harvesting vegetables or fruits, your kids will need to be patient. After all, they can’t just go and pluck everything off the plant all at once. They’ll have to manually check for ripeness and only take what’s ready.
This is an invaluable lesson that will teach your kids the importance of delayed gratification. They’ll learn that they need to be patient to reap the rewards.
3) Cause and Effect
What happens when you neglect to water the plants? They wilt and eventually die. Or if you overwater them, they might get moldy or rot.
Your kids will quickly learn that there are consequences to their actions when they’re gardening. If they don’t do what’s necessary to care for the plants, then they won’t get the results that they’re hoping for.
This reality may seem harsh, but it’s an important lesson for kids to learn. It will teach them that their actions have consequences and that they need to be mindful of what they do.
When you give your kids the responsibility of caring for a plant, they’re also taking on the weight of that plant’s life. They’ll need to be consistent in their care, which means watering it on a regular basis, making sure it gets enough sunlight, and so on.
If they’re not responsible, then the plant will likely die. An experience like this can teach your kids the importance of being responsible and reliable. And in childcare learning centers like Raising Stars, the value of responsibility is not overlooked as it is one of the most fundamental qualities that separate exceptional pupils of life from the rest.
5) Value of Life
When your children see a plant wilt and die because they forgot to water it, they may feel a sense of sadness or guilt. And, truth be told, this melancholic experience can come with some valuable life lessons.
The main lesson kids can learn from wilting plants is that life is precious and should be valued. They’ll learn that even something as small as a plant needs to be taken care of for it to thrive. But even if they’ve done all the right things, it’s still possible for bad things to happen to the plant. A rodent may wreck it. Perhaps a storm may uproot it.
As a parent, it’s important to prepare them for this reality. This will help them understand that nothing on this earth is temporary and that they should make the most out of every day they have with the people they love.
6) Survival Skills
Gardening doesn’t only mean watching pretty flowers grow. It can also mean teaching your kids how to identify edible plants in the wild, how to trim twigs, how to find fertile soil, and so on.
In other words, it can teach them essential survival skills that they can use if they ever find themselves in a situation where they need to fend for themselves. While modern society has made it easy for us to survive without these skills, it’s still good to have them when they’re out in the great outdoors.
When your kids see the fruits of their labor, whether it’s a beautiful flower or a delicious vegetable, they’ll likely feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. And that’s a good thing!
But it’s also important to teach them the value of gratitude. After all, they didn’t do it all on their own. The sun and rain played a role in helping the plants grow. And you, as the parent, likely gave them some guidance along the way.
Help your kids understand that they should be grateful for all the things that contributed to their success. This will teach them to be humble and to appreciate all the good things in their life.