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March 8, 2021
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Adding Nature to Our Children’s Lives

Each generation has different challenges when it comes to raising our children. Often some challenges are due to technology. The late sixties introduced television as a distraction to children. Often called the electronic babysitter, children spent hours watching the mindless programming. Yes, there were and are educational programming, however, very little of it. The next generation was lost to video games. The current generation of children not only have those distractions, but now have the internet and all that goes with it.

Children today spend much more time indoors than their grandparents did. A few generations ago, children spent their time outside in play and make believe. Today, they search the internet for videos or send message to their friends from their cell phones. Parks that were once the summer home of neighboring children, now see few of them. Adults jogging are much more common than children on swing sets. If the current generation of children do not experience nature, how can we expect that they will protect it, when it becomes their responsibility. People only care for things they know about.

Nature for a Well-balanced life.

We can not place all the blame on our children’s access to technology. Adults are more over worked than ever. Finding time for our families is ever more difficult. There is a series of videos online called Nature Rx. They are done in a format that reminds you of the commercials you see on television for prescription drugs. The message of these short videos is that we need to be outdoors more to achieve a balanced life. We can apply the same message to having a balance life with our families. Nature is balance.

The first steps can be small ones. Instead of sitting down at a fast food restaurant to eat, get that order as a take out. Then head to a local park and enjoy your meal outside. Next time, fix your meal at home but eat it at the park. If the park has a nature trail or any hiking trail, spend a few minutes exploring it. You may be surprised what you may see. You may also be surprised at the positive reactions your children may exhibit. Expand your outings, to other nearby local areas.

Develop a lifestyle for you and your children that includes being in contact with nature. You may be surprise at what you can see even close to home. Even a half day with your family every other week in the great outdoors can impact everyone’s life. Being outdoors with your children also helps them become more active. Short walks might lead to longer ones. Obesity among children is increasing at an alarming rate. Getting them to enjoy the outdoors away from the internet may help keeping them healthy.

Nature is Free

The budget is one item that many families struggle with. Going to a movie or a sporting event can be a major expense. Not so much with Nature. While some State and National Parks do charge an entrance fee, they are relatively low. Having a picnic followed by a short hike is no more expensive than eating at home. The time and surrounding are, however, priceless.

Start developing the love of nature in your children and in yourself.


Photo 1 caption:

Being with nature is a great family experience. Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden is a 500-acre botanical garden and tourist attraction outside of Pattaya Thailand. There are a number of gardens each with their own style representing different nations and plants. There is also an air-conditioned museum with a unique collection of automobiles from around the world.

Photo 2 caption:

Assateague Island National Seashore is only a few hours drive from some of the most densely populated cities of the Northeast United States. However, this isolated island is alive with wildlife including deer and wild horses. It is great for a day trip or overnight stays either camping in the park or staying in a hotel nearby.

Photo 3 Caption:

When we start exploring what is near us, our life expands. Letchworth State Park in New York State is a great example of this. The park has been voted the Best State Park in the US and has the nickname of the “Grand Canyon of the East”. The park’s main feature is a deep gorge with a river running through it, and the river’s three water falls. A number of smaller rivers and streams also are found in the park such as Wolf Creek shown here before its own water falls.

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